Apple has released the fourth developer beta for iOS 16 on Wednesday, bringing limits to the ability to edit and delete iMessages. Most notably, the company is adding an edit history log that will give the person you’re messaging the ability to see any edits you’ve made. Prior to the introduction of an edit history log, you would only be able to see that message was edited, not what it had actually said. In addition, you can now only edit a message five different times.
The company is likely adding these changes in response to concerns that the ability to edit and unsend messages could be used maliciously. For example, users could have sent someone harmful messages and then edited them after the fact, leaving the recipient without proof of the malicious message. The addition of an edit history log gives users access to proof of messages in order to document abuse. The feature could have also been used to edit messages to make it seem like someone had agreed to something they actually hadn’t.
The latest beta also reduces the time limit for unsending a message. When iOS 16 first launched, users had the ability to unsend a message within 15 minutes. Now, you only have two minutes to do so. However, some have pointed out that the potential for abuse still remains with the ability to unsend harmful messages.
Apple first announced these iMessage features last month during WWDC 2022. iOS 16 is still in beta testing, so these changes may not represent the final product, but it’s clear that Apple is looking for ways to alleviate concerns regarding these features.