Apple's vision of user-controlled messaging is becoming clearer.
On Wednesday, the iPhone maker finally released the long-awaited iOS 16 Developer Beta 4, which includes updates to Messages and Mail that provide a better understanding of how its new communication controls will and won't work. The latest release comes a few weeks after Apple's first public beta of iOS 16.
On the Messages front, retrieving and editing sent messages looks much more like it did when Apple announced the feature, and iOS 16 in full, at its WWDC developer conference in June. But the company is also adding some nuances that weren't entirely obvious at the time.
Messages can be edited up to 15 minutes after they are sent. On the recipient's side, they see a log of their changes. This means they see both the original post and the new one, preceded by "Edited at." Editing messages in iOS 16 does not change the history. The recording of his original lyrics remains.
There is also a limit to the number of edits you can make. You have five. If you need more, please consider deleting the post.
For the cancel message function, the window is much smaller. You have two minutes to rethink your words. But cancel sending isn't reliable in the current beta, and the words may not go away from the phones of those who aren't running one of the iOS 16 betas.
There are also tools to control your email incidents. iOS 16 Developer Beta 3 had an Undo Send preference setting that allowed you to turn it off or off for 10, 20, or 30 seconds. Gmail offers a similar 30-second no-send window.
It's half a minute to reconsider your missive and withdraw it. Unsend appears in this time frame at the bottom of the message screen, and with the clock ticking, it can be pretty easy to miss. After all, 30 seconds goes by pretty fast.
There are more(*4*)
Other updates in this release include the ability for developers to create live activities through a new API. These activity windows can live on the new lock screen and show you, for example, the live scores of your favorite sports teams.
Early availability of the new tool would normally mean that developers can have their Live Activities ready for iOS 16 when it launches, we hope, in September. However, an update on Apple's developer page (opens in a new tab) reminds developers that "Live Activities and ActivityKit will not be included in the initial public release of iOS 16." Developers will have more time to create these widgets and submit them for App Store approval before the launch of live activities later this year.
All of these developer updates should make it to the next iOS 16 public beta update whenever it arrives.
If you're thinking of getting a new iPhone compatible with iOS 16, you should read our roundup of the best iPhones.