Apple has just rolled out the second developer beta for iOS 16, and the first thing that’s caught our eye is revamped message filtering. With this update, the company has signaled that it’s getting serious about streamlining your SMS-based messages.
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s being included in the new update:
The new update allows developers of filter extensions — like the one built by Truecaller, or Apple’s own SMS filter available in India and Brazil — to classify non-personal messages into 12 subcategories within “Transactions” and “Promotions.” The Transactions category includes Finance, Reminders, Orders, Health, Public Services, Weather, Carrier, Rewards and Others; the Promotions category includes Offers, Coupons and Others.
During this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) session, Apple detailed how developers can incorporate these categories into their SMS filters. Based on this, it looks like the new categories will be only available for Indian users. We’ve asked Apple to clarify if these subcategories will be available in other countries, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.
Indian iPhone users will also get extractable events — such as a movie or a train ticket booking — as Siri suggestions, in Messages threads and in Calendar Inbox. Apple wants to make sure you don’t miss your train.
There’s some joy for U.S.-based users, too. When iOS 16 rolls out, users will be able to report spam messages to carriers with a new “Report Junk” that will be visible inside the Messages app under the Unknown Senders category. In its Release Notes for iOS 16 beta 2, Apple said that this feature will be available only with select carriers, but there’s no information about which carriers that might be at this time.
What’s more, if you’re using your iPhone in dual-SIM mode, you’ll also be able to filter messages based on their SIMs.
For years, on Android, apps like the Microsoft SMS Organizer have made life easy for users by offering to filter SMS-based messages into different categories. While Apple introduced filtering with iOS 14, this new subcategory division brings the Messages app on par with its Android counterparts.