iOS 16 Messages Guide: Unsend, Edit, and Other New Features

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With iOS 16, Apple is adding some major updates to the Messages app, adding features that many people have been dreaming about for years. This guide covers everything that’s new in the Messages app in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura as many of the Messages features are cross-platform.

Edit iMessage

When you send an iMessage in ‌iOS 16‌, you can edit it within 15 minutes of sending it. To edit an iMessage, you simply long press on the message you want to correct, add your edit, and then press the blue checkmark to resend.

editing messages on ios 16

There are a few caveats to keep in mind when using this feature. It only works with iMessages, not SMS messages, so both people must have an iPhone for it to work effectively. Edited posts will be repeated for those not using ‌iOS 16‌.

Members must be running the latest Apple updates, including ‌iOS 16‌, ‌iPadOS 16‌, ‌macOS Ventura‌, and watchOS 9, to use the message editing feature as intended.

People using an earlier operating system or Android will see the text “Edited for [text]” when you receive an edited iMessage.

The Messages app doesn’t provide a history of the edited iMessage, so the person on the other end won’t know what the change was.

iMessage unsend

If you send an iMessage and then change your mind, you can use the unsend feature to revoke it. You can unsend an iMessage within 15 minutes of sending it.

messages unsend ios 16

Like editing an iMessage, unsending an iMessage has limitations that you need to be aware of. If you use the Undo Send feature on a message sent to a user with an earlier version of iOS, it won’t work and the message won’t be cancelled.

In this situation, the person on the other end will not see that you canceled it, even if it disappears from your ‌iPhone‌. If someone is using an earlier version of iOS, they will say the following:

“You didn’t send a message. [Person] may still see your message on devices with earlier versions of iOS.”

Members must be running ‌iOS 16‌, ‌iPadOS 16‌, ‌macOS Ventura‌, and ‌watchOS 9‌ on their devices to cancel a dispatch to work. Requires iMessage as this feature does not work with SMS messages.

Mark as unread

‌iOS 16‌ has a new mark as unread feature that allows you to mark an SMS or iMessage as new so it has a blue dot to remind you to come back to it.

ios 16 mark as unread messages

Marking as unread is useful if you’ve received a message and don’t have time to read or reply to it at the moment because it’s saved as a new message with a notification icon in the Messages app.

To mark a thread as unread, press and hold the conversation, and then tap Mark Unread.

Recover deleted messages

The Filters interface in the Messages app has a new “Recently Deleted” section that collects all the texts you’ve deleted. If you accidentally deleted a message that you didn’t mean to delete, you can restore it here.

recently deleted messages ios 16

This interface has special “Delete All” and “Restore All” options to work with all messages at once, or you can select an individual message and choose to delete or restore it.

SharePlay support

SharePlay, a feature designed to let you use apps, watch TV, listen to music and more with friends and family via FaceTime, is now available in the Messages app. In any app that supports SharePlay, you can start a SharePlay session using the Messages app.

sharpley messages ios 16

SharePlay members can see the same content while talking through iMessage. It’s great for sharing apps, playing games, working out, talking about TV shows and movies, and just about any other SharePlay interaction. SharePlay is now compatible with both Messages and ‌FaceTime‌ so you can choose which communication method you prefer.

Collaboration integration

Collaboration is a new feature built into iOS apps. You can collaborate with colleagues, friends, or family in Files, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Notes, Reminders, and Safari by sending a collaboration invitation via Messages.

Once collaboration has begun, all invitees will see message updates as they edit the shared project in the app. Collaboration can be initiated from messages or ‌FaceTime‌.

Spam report

Apple is expanding the built-in Report Junk feature in the Messages app to include SMS/MMS messages, allowing spam messages to be reported to some US carriers.

report spam message ios 16

If you long press on an SMS/MMS message in the Unknown Senders section of the Messages app in ‌‌iOS 16‌‌, you can select the Report Junk Email option. With this option, you can mark a message as spam, send it to Apple and Verizon, and delete the message.

The Report Junk feature was previously available for iMessage, but the ability to report SMS/MMS messages to both Apple and carriers is new.

Developer API

Apple is making the Shared with You API available to developers so they can create a dedicated Shared with You section in their apps that will aggregate app content sent to you by friends into that app. So, for example, if a friend submits a Zillow list, you can see it in the new Shared With You section in the Zillow app.

It’s a third-party app subscription and an extension of the Shared with You feature that Apple introduced in iOS 15. Shared with You takes Safari links, photos, music, and more and makes them available in a dedicated section. app so you don’t miss out on content from friends.

Apple also has a messaging collaboration API that allows third-party apps to take advantage of a new collaboration feature that allows users to chat in the Messages app while working in another app.

Feedback from the guide

Do you have questions about the ‌iOS 16‌ Messages app, know of a feature we’ve missed, or want to provide feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

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