December 6, 2022

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Apple cuts off the ability to change and delete messages

The delete message window is cut short from 15 to 2 minutes in the latest iOS 16 beta.

Illustrative image.

Earlier this year, we reported on a new feature Apple introduced in the iOS 16 beta: delete and edit messages you’ve already sent in iMessage. Report now Engadget The company seems to limit these possibilities, because in the latest beta version of iOS 16 there are significant changes in this area.

When we discussed the post earlier, you had a 15-minute period after sending the message to delete it. The recipient will no longer be able to see the message at all, or there was a message to begin with.

If you change a message afterwards, this will also look like a perfectly normal message, without anything special happening to it. This is no longer the case for deletion or change.

This is how the window that appears for change and deletion looks like.

To delete, the opportunity period has now been reduced from 15 to just two minutes, to change a message you now have a window of only 15 minutes and within that window you can change messages a maximum of five times before you have to wait.

The recipient will now be able to see that the message has been deleted, and if it has been changed, the recipient will be able to click on the message to view the message history.

Thus, it appears that when iOS 16 is released for iPhone and iPad around the world sometime this fall, it will still be possible to change and delete messages, but to a much lesser degree than they first appeared.

An example of a somewhat innocent use of the edit option.

Apple has not yet commented on the change in beta, but according to Camel One reason these possibilities are limited could be that they can easily be misused.

For example, people may enter into agreements via messages, and then change the message so that the agreement becomes invalid or the terms are changed. Now this will be difficult, since you can see the history of the changes.

For deleted messages, the concern was that it might become easier to send spam images or links which were then deleted to prevent complaints or reviews. Harassment and unwanted sexual behavior were mentioned as potential arenas where this could be abused, especially among young people.

The changes don’t completely solve this problem, but they make it more difficult to misuse the service in this way. And if you don’t want this to be possible at all, you can always turn off iMessage.

The function requires that both devices sending messages are using iMessage, thus it will not work if there is a conversation between iPhone and Android phone. It also likely won’t work unless iOS 16 is installed on both iPhones, which means it will likely take some time before the functionality becomes really useful anyway.

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