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Editing iMessages on iOS 16 looks like a nightmare when chatting with old iPhones

At its Worldwide Developers Conference 2022 earlier this month, Apple introduced a nifty feature for iOS 16 that allows users to edit their texts in the iMessage app within a 15-minute window from the time they send a message. However, users who own older iPhone models or iPhones that run older iOS software will have any edited messages sent back to them as different texts — potentially causing a lot of messaging headaches.

The latest developer beta for iOS 16 was released on Wednesday, and shortly after, 9to5Mac reported that the beta added a workaround for these edited messages. In short, if you edit a message sent to a device not running iOS 16, the edited version of that message will be sent as an entirely new message with an “Edited to” label next to it.

Unsend a message in iOS 16.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For example, an iOS 16 user texts, “Are going to the movies with us weekend?” to someone using an iPhone running an older version of iOS. They notice they missed a couple of words, so they revise the message to, “Are you going to the movies with us this weekend?” That new message shows up on the non-iOS 16 user’s end as “Edited to Are you going to the movies with us this weekend?” beneath the original message.

Since iOS 16 is currently on developer beta 2, it’s difficult to determine if this workaround for edited messages will show up in the final release, as it’s subject to potential changes within the next few months. Non-iOS 16 users seeing a second text along with the original, typo-laden message may look like a good solution on paper, but getting multiple texts for one thought could prove very annoying very quickly. Although good grammar and spelling are essential to good communication, no one wants to see the same text message twice.

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Cristina Alexander
Cristina Alexander has been writing since 2014, from opining about pop culture on her personal blog in college to reporting…
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