With iOS 16, Apple is adding some major updates to the Messages app, bringing features that many people have been looking for for years. This guide highlights everything new to the Messages app in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and also macOS Ventura, as many Messages features are cross-platform.
When you send an iMessage in iOS 16, you can edit it up to 15 minutes after sending. To edit an iMessage, long press the message you want to correct, add your edit, then press the blue check mark to resend it.
There are some caveats when using this feature. It only works with iMessages, not text messages, so both people must have an iPhone to work effectively. Edited messages will be repeated for those not using iOS 16.
To use the message editing feature as intended, participants must use the latest updates from Apple, including iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and watchOS 9.
People with an older OS or Android users will see the text “Edited to” [text]” when receiving an edited iMessage.
The Messages app doesn’t provide a history of the iMessage that was edited, so the person on the other end doesn’t know what the change was.
iMessage Undo Send
If you send an iMessage and then change your mind, you can use the undo send feature to revoke it. You can unsend an iMessage up to 15 minutes after sending.
Just like editing iMessage, undoing iMessage has limitations that you should be aware of. Using the undo send feature on a message sent to someone with an earlier version of iOS will not work and the message will not be undone.
In this situation, the person on the other end will not see that you have not sent it, even though it will disappear from your iPhone. If someone is using an earlier version of iOS, it will say:
“You did not send a message. [Person] may still see your message on devices running older versions of iOS.”
To unsend, participants must be using iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and watchOS 9 on their devices. iMessage is required, as the feature does not work on text messages.
Mark as unread
There is a new mark as unread feature in iOS 16 that allows you to mark a text message or iMessage as new, so it has a blue dot to remind you to return to it.
Marking as unread is useful if you receive a message and don’t have time to read or address it, as it is saved as a new message with a notification badge in the Messages app.
To mark a thread as unread, long press on the conversation and then tap the “Mark as unread” option.
Recover Deleted Messages
Under the “Filters” interface in the Messages app, there is a new “Recently Deleted” section that collects all the texts you have deleted. If you accidentally delete a message you didn’t want to delete, you can recover it here.
This interface has special options “Delete All” and “Restore All” to handle all messages at once, or you can select an individual message and choose to delete or restore it.
SharePlay, the feature that lets you use apps, watch TV, listen to music, and more with friends and family via FaceTime, has been extended to the Messages app. In any app that supports SharePlay, you can choose to start a SharePlay session with the Messages app.
The participants in the SharePlay experience can see and discuss the same content via iMessage. This is useful for collaborating on different apps, playing games, exercising, talking about TV shows and movies, and almost any other SharePlay interaction. SharePlay is now compatible with both Messages and FaceTime, so you can choose whichever communication method you prefer.
Collaboration is a new feature built into iOS apps. You can collaborate with colleagues, friends, or family in Files, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Notes, Reminders, and Safari, and send an invitation to collaborate through Messages.
Once a collaboration has started, all invited participants will see Messages updates when the shared project is edited in the app. Collaborations can be started from Messages or FaceTime.
Junk Message Reporting
Apple is extending the built-in “Report Junk” feature in the Messages app to SMS/MMS messages so that spam messages can be reported to select carriers in the United States.
If you long press an SMS/MMS message in the Unknown Senders section of the Messages app in iOS 16, you can select the “Report junk messages” option. This option allows you to report a message as junk, send it to Apple and Verizon, and delete the message.
The Report Junk feature was previously available for iMessage, but the option to report SMS/MMS messages to both Apple and carriers is new.
Apple is making the Shared with You API available to developers so they can build a dedicated Shared with You section in their apps that aggregates app content you’ve sent from friends to that app. So, for example, if a friend sends you a Zillow mention, you may be able to see it in a new “Shared with you” section in the Zillow app.
This is an opt-in for third-party apps and it is an extension of the Shared with You feature that Apple introduced in iOS 15. Shared with You uses Safari links, photos, music, and more and makes them accessible in the relevant app so you don’t miss any content from friends.
Apple also has a Messages Collaboration API that allows third-party apps to take advantage of the new collaboration feature that allows users to interact in the Messages app while collaborating in another app.
Have questions about the iOS 16 Messages app, know of a feature we left out, or want to provide feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.