Your Messages app is likely the center of activity on your iPhone, fielding incoming texts from family, friends, colleagues, and more. But aside from muting that 20-plus-person bridesmaid group chat, having more control over your texts can sometimes feel like a pipe dream. At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 6, the company announced some major new features to Messages. In iOS 16, coming out in the fall, you’ll be able to edit and unsend iMessages you’ve recently sent out. You’ll also be able to mark a thread as unread — a gift to those among us who open text messages, put their phone down, and forget to respond for the next six to eight weeks.
Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi, who delivered the announcement, noted that these were some of Messages’ most requested features, which an informal poll of any grext would affirm. This update will come out as part of iOS 16, which won’t be available to the public until likely September.
How To Edit Or Unsend iMessages In iOS 16
In the Keynote presentation, Federighi demonstrated how to edit or unsend iMessages once iOS 16 comes out. All you have to do is long press on the message in question, the way you add an emoji reaction. You’ll be prompted with options to edit or unsend the message, and if you unsend it, it’ll disappear with a little exploding graphic. Per Apple’s newsroom post about the announcement, you can also recover deleted messages for up to 30 days in iOS 16. To mark a conversation thread as unread, just swipe right on it and tap, the same way you would mark an email thread as unread in the Mail app.
Think of the possibilities. You’ll be able to edit that awkward typo in your first text to a new datefriend (“Brain” is not a cute nickname for Brian!), or unsend that passive-aggressive note to your roommate. Though many of these faux pas could be prevented by simply reading the text over a second time, these new features will smooth over many avoidable awkward situations for the clumsy-thumbed among us.
Will You Be Notified If Someone Edits Or Unsends A Message?
If the ability to edit or unsend messages feels a little red-flag-y for you — cue “Toxic” by Britney Spears — rest assured that your conversation stream will note when a text has been edited or recalled. While you won’t be able to tell what exactly was in the chaotic missive your BFF decided against sending, there will be a virtual paper trail. Users can only edit or unsend messages for up to 15 minutes after it initially goes out, too.
These changes to Messages were announced alongside other new options in iOS 16, like editable fonts and colors for your lock screen. There’s little doubt the future of the iPhone will be customizable.