Apple lets users edit and unsend texts in iOS 16

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself spending far more time in one-to-one communication applications as opposed to social networking apps. Mostly, that means using Apple’s Messages app (which we learned at WWDC 2022 today is getting a huge update) as well as Facebook Messenger, along with a smattering of others like Gmail.

Facebook’s messaging product is one way for iPhone and Android users to share a cross-platform messaging experience. When it comes to Apple’s Messages app, however, power users have been practically screaming for certain features for — well, for years, it seems like. At the same time, the social network that everyone loves to hate has rolled out a slew of solid tweaks to Facebook Messenger, making it a much more useful little app to me than even the main Facebook product itself.

I love things like the ability to un-send Facebook Messenger missives, plus the ability to archive messages, the Gifs, stickers, and much more. And don’t even get me started on the fantastic spam-blocking ability of Facebook Messenger. At least in my experience, it’s about 10,000x better than the spammy crap that Apple allows to junk up my Messages app.

Unsend texts in Apple’s Messages app

To many people, the Messages app has, in fact, felt a little stuck in the past for a while now. Until today, that is. The iPhone maker has finally brought some long-requested features to Messages that users have been wanting for so long. Like:

  • The ability to edit a message that you just sent to someone
  • Users can also now un-send messages. Importantly, though, you’ve got a time limit on editing and recalling messages. You can only do either of these within 15 minutes of sending
  • If you’re busy, meanwhile, and you want to highlight a message you’ve just read, to remind you to respond to it later? Finally, you can do that, as well.
  • There’s also a recovery option for deleted messages coming as well. But only for up to 30 days after you’ve deleted the message

Color me surprised, by the way, that Apple with its 1 billion+ active devices worldwide has finally seen the light and is adding an edit button to its Messages app. Yet Twitter, per usual, is still dithering on the feature that’s been long-requested by its own users.

While you can’t “edit” a message within Facebook Messenger after it’s already been sent, the app has let users un-send messages for a little while now. Within Facebook’s messaging app, though, you’ve got to do so within 10 minutes.

Apple, as noted above, is giving users a little longer to do so — 15 minutes.

All in all, I think these new Apple Messages app features coming with the arrival of iOS 16 this fall will definitely make me use the app more than I currently do at the moment. It’s still not where I’d like it to be. The spam, for example, is out of control. And I think a better message archiving setup would be extremely useful. But the new features mentioned above, bottom line, are a welcome and long-overdue set of updates.


More Apple coverage: For more Apple news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

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