STARTING today, iPhone owners can edit and unsend texts sent over iMessage.
It means you can now instantly fix any typos, accidental messages or regrettable missives.
The feature was announced by Apple way back in June at the company's WWDC event.
But the iOS 16 software update for iPhone is now freely available – as of Monday, September 12.
Check if you've got the new iOS by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
Editing texts after they've been sent is a rare feature – even WhatsApp doesn't have it yet.
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But WhatsApp has offered unsending – pulling a text back from a recipient's phone – for a while now.
How to edit an iPhone text
Not all iMessages can be tweaked or deleted: there's a time limit.
You only have 15 minutes to make any changes to a text before the option runs out.
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Simply hold down on the message to edit it.
Recipients will be alerted when a text has been edited.
However it won't be possible to see exactly what changes have been made – unless you had previously seen the message and remembered what it said.
Also important is that both the sender and recipient will need to be on iOS 16 for the feature to work.
So even if you have iOS 16, you won't be able to unsend or edit a text for a person who hasn't yet upgraded.
You'll receive a warning that some people won't see your edits if this is the case.
For the feature to work, everyone needs to be running iOS 16.
Sadly, if you're using WhatsApp then there's no way to edit a text.
That said, WhatsApp regularly adds new features and is already testing a similar hack.
So you might not have to wait too long before you can edit WhatsApp texts too.
How to unsend an iPhone text
You can unsend an iMessage on iOS 16 within the first 15 minutes by holding down on the text.
But don't think you can do it silently.
Just like on WhatsApp, if a text has been "unsent" then a note will appear for both the sender and recipient.
This will stop any confusion once a text has vanished.
On WhatsApp, it's a very similar process.
Simply hold down on the message and choose Delete For Everyone.
This option disappears after too much time has passed, so be quick.
Can I install iOS 16?
The sad reality is that not all iPhone models can upgrade to iOS 16.
You'll need an iPhone 8 or later to get the new iOS 16.
That means two generations of iPhone have been cut off: the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7.
The 1st-generation iPhone SE also won't be compatible with iOS 16, but was with iOS 15.5.
iOS 16 comes as standard on all iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models.
Here's the full list of iOS 16 supported devices prior to iPhone 14:
- iPhone 13
- iPhone 13 mini
- iPhone 13 Pro
- iPhone 13 Pro Max
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 mini
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone Xs
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone SE (2nd generation or later)
If you're using an older iPhone, you'll simply need to upgrade to access iOS 16.
Otherwise you'll miss out on the new features.
But more worryingly, not being able to get the latest iOS means you'll lose access to the most up-to-date security fixes.
These are vital patches that close holes used by hackers to access your systems.
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So using a very old iPhone that can't be updated could put you at risk.
If you can't update to iOS 16, consider upgrading your iPhone sooner rather than later.
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