With the release of iOS 16 Beta 4, Apple has added an edit log feature for messages and has also reduced the window for unsending a message.
Apple is making some changes to the new iMessage editing feature for sent texts in iOS 16, now allowing the recipient to view a log of all the edits made to the original message while restricting the number of allowed edits to five. To recall, Apple introduced a new feature in iOS 16 that lets users edit a message after sending it, which is obviously a neat way to correct typos. The original idea was to allow multiple edits within 15 minutes of sending the original message.
If a message was tweaked or corrected after sending it, an “Edited” label would appear alongside the message bubble, informing the recipient about the change. However, soon after the feature was rolled out via iOS 16’s early beta builds, concerns were raised that it could be abused. According to multiple experts, the editing feature could be exploited to hurt victims of sexual harassment and violence, and Apple needed to rethink it.
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Well, it appears that Apple paid heed to those worries and quietly made some notable changes, just the way it did for its controversial iCloud photo scanning plans. As documented by developer Federico Viticci in a tweet, the fourth beta of iOS 16 now limits users to only five edits for each message. But more importantly, it displays a log of all the edits made to a message. Tapping the blue “Edited” text below the message bubble pulls up all the previous versions of a message. All the edited versions of a message will appear as slightly faded text in separate bubbles. On the surface, the new edit log system looks like a step towards higher transparency for all parties engaged in a conversation, especially the recipients. However, some users are also complaining that it defeats the whole purpose of having the edit functionality in the first place.
More Transparency, Shrinking Time Window
Another key iMessage change that is being rolled out with iOS 16 Beta 4 is the time allowance for unsending a message. So far, the iMessage app has allowed users to pull back a message within 15 minutes of sending it. However, the latest beta of iOS 16 significantly shrinks that window and reduces it to only two minutes. For users worried about being embarrassed by edit logs, their only option now is to unsend their message within a couple of minutes. Apple hasn’t officially explained the rationale behind making the aforesaid changes, and the release notes for iOS 16 Beta 4 don’t mention them either.
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On the bright side, the latest developer-focused beta update resolves a whole bunch of issues. For example, it fixes a telephony issue that blocked incoming and outgoing calls if the user has recently switched from a physical SIM to an eSIM line on the same device. Apple will be rolling out a public beta update with the aforementioned changes in the coming days. On the other hand, the stable iOS 16 update will be out in the fall, right on time for the iPhone 14 series debut, alongside new watches and possibly upgraded iPads, too.