Changes to iMessage Undo Send and Message Editing in Latest Beta

Federico Viticci:

Some interesting changes to iMessage in iOS 16 beta 4:

  • You can now unsend a message for up to 2 minutes after sending it

  • You can still edit for up to 15 minutes

  • You can make up to 5 edits to a message

  • Recipients can see a log of all edits to a message

After these features were announced at WWDC, many — including domestic violence survivors — expressed concerns about how they be misused. The changes in this latest beta appear to ensure there is a record of previous messages, and stricter limits on both undoing a send and the number of edits that may be made.

It is good to see Apple is taking concerns seriously and making changes as a result of feedback. A lingering vector for abuse is the unsend feature — two minutes is certainly a tight time limit, but many people will see messages as they are received if they have notifications with previews enabled. I hope there is a way to preserve evidence of abuse where it is needed while still allowing users to undo the sending of a message containing a password or intended for a different recipient.