Unfortunately I did it again. Accidentally sending a text message to the wrong person can be at least annoying and, at worst, embarrassing or end the relationship. Many texting applications already have a feature to cancel a misdirected message. This capability is finally coming to Apple Messages (formerly iMessage) in the upcoming release of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura.

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Latest iOS 16 beta version has a feature in messages that allows users to cancel or edit sent messages. This can come in handy in cases where you accidentally send your mom a message that was meant for your wife, and in other situations where you don’t want to feel stupid saying, “Sorry, that wasn’t for you.”

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Unfortunately, this feature only works if the recipient is also using the latest version of the Apple operating system. So you can’t cancel messages for Android users or people with older iPhones, iPads, or Macs. This feature has other limitations as well.

The Messages app gives you two minutes to delete the missing text. According to beta testers who spoke to 9to5Mac, previous beta versions gave users 15 minutes to cancel the message. The same 15-minute window remains for editing. However, instead of unlimited editing, users can now only edit a post five times.

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Although Apple has not commented on these changes, they are likely related to criticism put forward by victim advocates, saying that too much deletion time and unlimited editing gives predators and stalkers more opportunities to change the evidence of their stalking.

Another limitation is that the recipient can view any changes made to the message. Thus, the creep will not be able to send the message “I will kill you” and after 10 minutes change it to “Have a nice day” without leaving traces of the attack.

The controls for the new messaging features are quite intuitive and simple.

To cancel sending a text, press and hold the message you want to delete. In the context menu that appears, click “Cancel Send” and it will disappear from your message history and the recipient’s message history. The Cancel option will disappear from the menu after two minutes.

To edit a message, press and hold while clicking Edit from the context menu. Make your changes, then tap the checkmark icon to the right of the message. If you choose not to make changes, tap the x on the left. After fifteen minutes or the fifth edit, the option disappears from the menu.

The resulting edited text will appear in your chat history and in the recipient’s chat history with a small “Show Changes” mark below the message. Clicking on this note will display previous changes in chronological order, up to the most recent. The final version will appear in the normal iMessage blue, while older changes will appear in light blue. Any user can collapse edits by clicking again on the symbol, which now reads “Hide edits”.

Apple’s latest operating systems across all of its platforms are due this fall when the company launches the latest iPhones, iPads and Macs. You can try it now if you register to get betas, but if you don’t have a contact who also has a beta, don’t expect it to work correctly.