Apple says iPhone will allow you to unsend messages. A tech engineer explains there’s a catch

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Apple announced the addition of several changes coming to iPhone’s new operating system update during its WWDC 2022 event this week.

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One of the more interesting features announced by software engineering senior vice president Craig Federighi is the rollout of an unsend and edit feature on iMessage that will allow users to withdraw or revise texts that have already been sent.

According to Apple, the new features will allow users to edit or completely unsend a message for up to 15 minutes after it has been sent.

Selected users are able to beta test new features this month ahead of Apple’s reported iOS 16 release in September. Among the lucky bunch is Darshil Patel, a full stack engineer who is currently beta testing iOS 16.

“They give out access to developers a few months early so they can make sure the apps are ready for the new version,” Patel told The Charlotte Observer. Although iOS 16 brings a host of shiny new features, there are still a few catches that users should keep in mind.

For instance, the action of editing or unsending isn’t entirely discreet, according to Patel.

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In iOS 16, recipients of your message will be notified if the initial text has been unsent or edited. You may also run into trouble if the recipient of a message you want to edit isn’t running the updated operating system.

“It’s not implemented properly,” Patel said. “If the other person doesn’t have iOS 16, the message won’t unsend for them.” Additionally, the newest features included in the iOS 16 update will only be available for users who have an iPhone 8 and up, he said.

For the most part, iOS 16 is stable, but the beta version was described as “buggy,” Patel told the Observer.

“Occasionally, things will take a bit longer to load than usual, but it’s normal,” Patel said. “It’s always like this when they launch the beta.”

Other changes to iMessage that iPhone users can expect in the update include optimised diction tools for drafting messages with your voice and the ability to mark messages as “unread” so you can revisit them in the future.-The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service