iMessage edit log added & unsend time limit cut way back in iOS 16 beta 4

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Apple addressed concerns surrounding the iMessage unsend and edit features in the latest iOS 16 beta with new time limits and feature tweaks.

The long-requested feature to edit or delete messages has finally been announced for Apple's iMessage platform. However, concerns were raised about the feature's potential for abuse immediately.

To address these concerns, Apple has changed the time limit for deleting a message from 15 minutes to just two. A message will appear saying a message was deleted, but nothing will show what was previously sent, even if the recipient read the message before deletion.

The edit feature was also changed to alleviate concerns. Now, messages will show a history of edits when tapped, and up to five edits can be made on a message within the 15-minute window.

Originally, a sent iMessage could be edited any time within a 15-minute window. An edited message would be annotated with "Edited," but nothing else indicated what changed.

Edit history and a two-minute limit on deleting messages give users more protection from potential abuse
Edit history and a two-minute limit on deleting messages give users more protection from potential abuse

Also, Apple made it possible to delete or "unsend" an iMessage at any point within 15 minutes. This was meant to help fix typos or undo sent messages to the wrong person, but it could also be used to unsend harmful messages.

The 15-minute window and the permanence of both features were cause for concern. For example, someone could send a message, have someone agree to it, then change what the original message said entirely. Or, an explicit photo could be removed from the chat as if it was never sent.

Apple's operating systems are still in beta testing, so this change may not represent the final product. These updates will likely alleviate some concerns surrounding the new iMessage features, but the potential for abuse remains.