iOS 16: All the New Messages Improvements

BY Parth Shah

Published 4 Jul 2022

While the iOS 16 update didn’t bring a significant redesign to the Messages app, it brought new additions to bridge the gap with the likes of WhatsApp and Telegram. Apple finally addressed iMessage shortcomings and added highly requested features. Here are all the new Messages improvements in iOS 16.

1. Undo Sent Messages

iMessage rivals like WhatsApp and Telegram already offer an option to undo sent messages. Apple has implemented the same in the Messages app with the iOS 16 update. If you accidentally sent a message in the wrong conversation thread, you can delete it for everyone. Long-press a message, select Undo Send and delete the message for all parties. You can unsend any message for up to 15 minutes after sending it. After that, you won’t see an option to undo the sent message.

WhatsApp allows users to undo sent messages in up to two hours, and Telegram users can delete messages anytime. A 15-minute window on Messages should be enough to realize your mistake and remove the message from the conversation. Note that if you are on iOS 16 and the recipient is using iOS 15, the message won’t be deleted for the recipient. In group chats, all the participants need to be on iOS 16. 

2. Edit a Sent Message

If you sent a message with a typo that might change the meaning of the conversation, you should edit it. You don’t need to undo a sent message and draft the correct one from scratch. Following the iOS 16 update, you can edit a message for up to 15 minutes after sending it.

To fix a typo, long-press on a message and select Edit from the floating menu. Type a new message and hit the blue checkmark. Messages will bear an indication to let the recipient know about the edit. You or the recipient can’t check the original message or edit history.

3. Mark Conversation as Unread

At times, you might be busy responding to an important message. You can mark the message thread as unread to ensure you don’t miss it later. Swipe right on a thread and select the blue unread icon.

4. Check Recently Deleted Messages

Did you accidentally delete a bunch of messages in conversations? You can now check and recover recently deleted messages for up to 30 days after deleting them.

When you want to recover a message, open the Filters in Messages, and tap on the Recently Deleted menu. Select the radio button beside deleted messages and hit the Recover button in the top right corner.

5. Start SharePlay in Messages

Apple announced SharePlay for FaceTime in iOS 15 last year. The company brings the same to the Messages app in iOS 16. You can enjoy all SharePlay features such as synchronized activities for movies, music, workouts, games, and more with friends while chatting in Messages.

6. Collaboration Invitations in Messages

Do you plan to share Apple Numbers, Keynote, Pages document, Notes, Safari webpages, or Reminders list with friends and family members? You can now send an invitation to collaborate on a project in Messages, and everyone in the group will automatically be added to the document, spreadsheet, note, or project. You don’t need to add every person’s email ID individually while sharing a project.

Apple has also opened Messages collaboration APIs to developers. They can integrate their app’s collaboration experience with Messages and FaceTime. The process makes it easy to initiate and manage collaboration in a single place, even across third-party apps.

7. Collaboration updates

Did someone make an edit to share the Pages document? You can see activity updates at the top of the Messages thread. You can tap the updates to move to the shared project.

8. Shared with You API for Developers

Announced with iOS 15, Shared with You was limited to Apple apps such as Safari, Music, Apple TV, and Podcasts only. Developers can now build a Shared with You section into their app. When someone shares a Spotify playlist or recommends a Netflix show in Messages, you can find the same in the respective app’s Shared with You section.

The iPhone maker brings the much-needed quality of life and sharing improvements to Messages in the iOS 16 update. If you don’t want to wait till this fall, you can install the iOS 16 developer build on your compatible iPhone. Once you install the update, don’t forget to check all new iOS 16 features