Apple could be lining up a significant update for the iMessage messaging app, if the new patent becomes a reality. Apple iMessage, a messaging app on iOS, iPadOS and macOS, could soon allow users to edit a message after you’ve sent it. In a new patent application titled Devices, Methods, and Graphical User Interfaces for Messaging filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Apple talks about a bunch of new features for its popular messaging app. But what stands out is the potential ability to edit a message after it has been sent. We have all been in that awkward spot where an important message has gone with a spelling error, or we have spelt the receiver’s name wrong or some such thing. That may soon be a thing of the past, at least for iMessage users on the Apple iPhone, iPad and Mac devices.
“But current messaging applications have numerous drawbacks and limitations. For example, they are limited in their ability to easily: acknowledge messages; edit previously sent messages; express what a user is trying to communicate; display private messages; synchronize viewing of content between users; incorporate handwritten inputs; quickly locate content in a message transcript,” says the patent application. It also addresses some limitations that most present instant messaging platforms tend to have such as, “integrate a camera; integrate search and sharing; integrate interactive applications; integrate stickers; make payments; interact with avatars; make suggestions; navigate among interactive applications; manage interactive applications; translate foreign language text; combine messages into a group; and flag messages.”
At this time, Apple iMessage is competing with the likes of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Signal in the instant messaging space and a whole host of video meeting tools such as Microsoft Skype, Microsoft Team, Google Hangouts, Google Meet and Zoom. The versatility to iMessage as an all-in-one communication app for messages, video calls, group video calls and more gives it an advantage over rivals, at least on the iPhone, iPad and macOS. Right now, no app allows you to edit a text message after you have sent it. If iMessage does get this feature soon, it will be the first to get something that most of us have been waiting for. Whether we realise it or not.
Apple has still not made iMessage apps for Android and Windows 10, for instance, and remains exclusive to Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Mac devices.