Apple’s controversial iMessage-editing feature in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS 13 Ventura is now less likely to be abused by malicious users.
The company added restrictions and protections in response to criticism that evildoers could misuse the tool to harass, gaslight, or otherwise bother iMessage recipients. Still, even with the new constraints, the iMessage editor remains a valuable tool for regular users who regularly make mistakes and autocorrect fails.
The fourth developer betas for iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS 13 Ventura, released July 27, change the editing tool in Messages so that you’re limited to five total edits within 15 minutes. After you edit a message five times, the “Edit” button will disappear from the quick actions menu.
Also, both senders and recipients can see all versions of an edited message, not just the latest one, by tapping the “Edited” alert below the message. So you no longer need to disable iMessage or keep a secondary Apple device with outdated software to view the history of edits.
When it comes to taking back an iMessage, you now have only two minutes instead of 15 minutes to get it done. After two minutes, the “Undo Send” button will disappear from the quick actions.
The changes to iMessage can be seen as a win for victim advocates that have been asking Apple to rethink how the editing and undo send features work. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s likely to prevent gaslighting, harassment, black hat mischief, and other negative uses from overwhelming the system.
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