November 28, 2023

It’s possible to send hundreds of text messages in a day, especially if you’re in a large group chat. And with so many messages going back and forth, it’s a little to be expected that you’ll make a mistake or two.

But usually, this is not a problem. A recipient can make simple grammatical mistakes, and if you send a message to the wrong person, you can usually follow it up with a simple “sorry” and be fine. Until it isn’t.

Sometimes a mistake in a text message can get you into trouble or lead to embarrassment, so you should be able to recall any message and edit the one you sent — which you’ll finally be able to do with iOS 16.

Dont miss: 5 Hidden iOS 16 Features and Settings You’ll Want to Know About

Apple announced these new texting features for the iPhone in its WWDC event in June. Other new features coming to iPhone include; new lock screen customization options and Apple Pay Later. And SharePlay is added to Messages.

We’ll explain how these two new messaging features work. And if you want to explore iOS 16 right now, before the general public release, here it is how to download and install the second iOS 16 beta on your iPhone and iPad.

Edit the messages you’ve already sent

If you use messaging tools like Slack, you’ve probably edited at least one — or 100 — of the messages you’ve sent. Whether you made a typo or your message contains incorrect data, the edit feature is a nice way to make your corrections quickly. With iOS 16, you’ll also be able to edit your messages sent from your iPhone within 15 minutes of sending.

To edit a text message, you’ll need to launch Messages and go to any thread that uses iMessage, which you probably know as blue text. This feature will not work with SMS text messages (green texts). Now, tap and hold on the message you want to edit. This will bring up the Tapback reactions and quick action menu. Finally, tap Processing.

Editing a text message in iOS 16

Even if you edit a text message, the recipient will still be able to see any old messages.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

The text message will then become editable. You can delete the entire message, correct any mistakes or add more text to it. Once you’re done, press the blue radio button on the right side to save your changes. You can only edit one message up to 5 times.

An actionable Edited button will appear below the edited text message. The person on the other end will also know that the message has been processed and if they press Editedall previous versions of your text message will appear above the edited text message, in slightly grayed-out chat bubbles.

Immediately recall any messages you accidentally sent

Random messages happen very often. Maybe you hit the send button when you wanted to select an emoji. Or maybe you messaged the wrong person altogether. In both cases, you will be able to recall these messages with iOS 16. Unlike the message editor feature, you only have 2 minutes to undo a text.

To unsend a text messagelaunch the Messages app, tap and hold the message (blue text only) you want to unsend, and tap Cancel shipment.

The text message will disappear from your thread, both on your end and the recipient’s. A message will appear in your thread, stating that your message has not been sent, but that the recipient may have already seen it.

Remove text message in iOS 16

You only have 2 minutes to undo a text message.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Unfortunately, if the other person is running something older than iOS 16, the message won’t actually be sent, even though your phone will say it is.

The recipient will see a gray text status message that says, “[Name] suspended a message” if they’ve already seen the text. This is similar to the Delete Message feature that apps like WhatsApp and Signal already have, which also display a similar message after a text is revoked.

While you wait for these new features to arrive, check out the new ones the refresh is coming to Apple Maps. Also here Apple’s new MacBook Air.

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