The ability to edit or even to delete texts that are already sent in Messages is one of the highlights of the latest iOS upgrade (iOS 16), announced by Apple.
sers will have 15 minutes to either edit or delete texts sent through Apple’s Messages app to others also using iOS 16. The feature won’t work for general SMS texting (to non-iPhones) or when one of the Apple devices isn’t using iOS 16.
Editing sent messages and posts is a feature often requested of social media and messaging apps. While the likes of Gmail has allowed a version of this for a while (holding an email for 30 seconds to allow for a quick review or edit), Whatsapp has said it may soon introduce something similar. Twitter, however, is a holdout: it has steadfastly defined user requests to allow for post-tweet edits.
Other highlights of iOS 16, announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference and available to download this Autumn, include new customisation options for the lock screen, family photo sharing and a slew of other features.
One of the most noteworthy additions, Apple Pay Later, will be restricted to the US for the time being. This will allow users to buy something using Apple Pay but split the payments over four interest-free instalments. If launched in Europe and other markets, it will bring Apple into competition with services such as Klarna.
With iOS 16, the lock screen will now have a choice of photos with multiple filters applicable, as well as widgets including calendar events, weather, alarms, battery levels and activity ring progress.
The fonts of the date and time can also be changed around.
Another lock screen feature is ‘Live Activities’, which will allow people to keep abreast of things that are happening in real time on their lock screen, such as a sports game, workout or food delivery order.
Meanwhile, a new iCloud Shared Photo Library will allow users to file photos to a family-access iCloud library for every participating family member to see. The photos can be filed directly to the iCloud library at the time of the shot, or from their own Photos library.
Apple has also spent some time upgrading its live text capabilities. In iOS 16, users will be able to pause a video on an frame and let their phone grab any text that’s visible. The Live Text feature will also now allow for the conversion of currency or text translations.
A nifty feature called ‘Visual Look Up’ will let users tap and hold an image, lifting it out of its background to be draggable into apps such as Messages.
CarPlay, meanwhile, is getting some upgrades. Chief of these is the ability to stream or provide content to multiple screens within a vehicle, possibly allowing for more harmonious staycation road trips among families.
Apple says that its is working with a number of major car manufacturers to integrate CarPlay more into the instrument systems, allowing for a wider range of controls and display functions for things like radios, speedometers and climate control.
Apple Maps is also getting some significant upgrades, including the ability for up to 15 stops to be included in multi stop routing. Apple recently revealed that it is driving across most Irish counties this month to update some data in its Maps databases.
And there are also some updates to parental controls, with Family Sharing making it slightly more streamlined to set up and control an account for a child. When a child asks for more screen time, a parent can control the request from within Messages.
It also promises to have a simpler process for setting up a new device that applies existing parental controls automatically.
While there are also new features within Dictation, Siri and the Home app, Apple has now made its Fitness app available to all iPhone users, whether or not they have an Apple Watch. And the Health app will add ‘Medications’, which aims to allow people to set up and maintain their own prescribed medicine or health supplement lists, with the option of creating reminders and schedules.
There’s also a new personalised spatial audio feature that uses the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera to better construct an optimal listening ‘zone’ for users.
One interesting new safety feature is aimed at the victims of abusive partners. It includes an emergency reset that allows someone to sign out of iCloud on all their other devices, reset privacy permissions, and limit messaging to just the device in their hand.
As for availability, a public beta will be available to iOS users next month at beta.apple.com.
But if you have an iPhone 7, iPhone 6 or older, you’re out of luck — the new iOS 16 features only apply to iPhone 8 models and newer.