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Messages in iOS 8.3 beta comes with automatic spam reporting functions

A new feature discovered in the latest iOS 8.3 developer beta lets users quickly report spam content in Messages without having to go through Apple's current elaborate support procedure, AppleInsider has learned.

With iOS 8.3 beta, the updated Messages app displays a "Report Junk" link in a conversation thread if the other party is missing from a user's contact list. Tapping on the link presents an option to simultaneously delete a message and report it to Apple as spam.

Under previous versions of iOS, people wanting to deal with spam had to manually block a person's email address or phone number, and/or turn to Apple's support pages to go through an involved reporting procedure. This involves emailing Apple a screenshot, a date and time, and the accused spammer's email address or phone number.

The convoluted process may be deterring people from reporting spam, since it's quicker to just block unwanted iMessages and texts rather than gather together the evidence Apple requires. Reporting, though, has the chance of saving trouble for other Messages users.

Apple released the most recent public and developer betas of iOS 8.3 on March 24. While the firmware is considered only a minor update from 8.2, it does include multi-racial emoji icons, more languages and accents for Siri, and the ability to disable password requests for free App Store downloads.

The final version of iOS 8.3 could be ready by the time Apple Watch ships on April 24.