Apple released the fourth developer beta for iOS 16 on Wednesday, which limits the ability to edit and delete iMessages. Most notably, the company is adding a change history log that will give the person you’re sending to the ability to see all the changes you’ve made. Before the introduction of a change history log, you could only see that this message was changed, not what it actually said. Additionally, you can now only edit a post five different times.
The company is likely adding these changes in response to concerns that the ability to edit and unsend messages could be used for malicious purposes. For example, users might have sent someone harmful messages and then edited them afterwards, leaving the recipient with no proof of the malicious message. Adding a change history log allows users to access message evidence to document abuse. The feature could also have been used to edit messages to make it look like someone agreed to something they didn’t actually agree to.
The latest beta also reduces the time to unsend a message. When iOS 16 first launched, users had the option to unsend a message within 15 minutes. Now you only have two minutes to do so. However, some pointed out that the potential for abuse persists with the ability to unsend harmful messages.
Apple first announced these iMessage features last month at WWDC 2022. iOS 16 is still in beta testing, so these changes may not represent the final product, but it’s clear Apple is looking to ways to allay concerns about these features.