Deleting and editing iMessages: Older devices have been blind so far

In the current beta version of iOS 16, key new functions of the operating system are not compatible with iOS 15. Only Apple knows if that will change.

 Deleting and editing iMessages: Older devices so far blind

In iOS 16, macOS 13, iPadOS 16 and probably also in watchOS 9, Apple’s popular news app brings several important new features that users have been waiting for for a long time. It is now possible for the first time to edit an iMessage that has already been sent, for example to correct errors. Furthermore, sent messages can finally be retrieved – the user has a total of 15 minutes to do so.

Editing and deleting: only half-baked so far

As it turns out, however, Apple has both functions in the first beta versions of iOS 16 and Co., which have been distributed to developers since last week as part of the WWDC, are still incompletely implemented. Both deleting and editing work between iOS 16 devices. However, this does not yet apply to all older systems, be it iOS 15, iPadOS 15 or macOS 12 Monterey.

Worse still: Nothing happens here when using the brand new iMessage options. This means, for example: if you edit a message on an iPhone with iOS 16, the change will not be reflected on a macOS 12 system. The user sees nothing there – there is no indication that the conversation partner has edited and the edit also remains invisible. It’s the same with deletion: the message disappears as desired on the iOS 16 device (including a note in the course of the conversation), on the macOS 12 system it simply remains there.

Server-side solution conceivable?

Of course, you have to take into account that iOS 16 is a beta system in which everything is far from in place. It is still worrying, however, that the iMessage system itself does not seem to have any way of taking older systems with the new functions, at least so far. It is unclear whether Apple can screw on the server side here. In the worst case, users who remain on iOS 15, macOS 12 and Co. would have to install an operating system update for the respective system line themselves so that editing and deleting is at least displayed – if Apple offers this at all. If you know Apple, it is unlikely that the functions will end up in old operating systems. And: Currently, the group writes directly as a warning in the case of deletions that such messages from “users of older systems will continue to be seen”. could be.

Users can also not see which systems their communication partners are using. Even with earlier iMessage innovations – such as effects – these were only slimmed down on older devices. But at least they were visible that way. With deletion and editing – where visibility would be even more important – this has not been the case so far. But the next beta will definitely come: the first public pre-release can be expected in July. Apple may have fixed the problem by then.

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