Apple designed a workable system to let people edit text messages after they send them. But now we have to hope it’ll be implemented.
This is potentially great news for everyone who ever wished they could fix an embarrassing text.
At the end of December, Apple filed an application for Devices, Methods, and Graphical User Interfaces for Messaging with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It was published on Thursday, revealing a method to edit a text message after sending it.
Apple’s proposed method for editing sent texts
The patent filing has an example to demonstrate Apple’s system for editing previously-sent texts. Two people are discussing a trip, and one of them accidentally writes and sends “Can I get a ridiculous up with you?”
They then press and hold on that text to bring up a windows with “Edit” as an option. They make the change so the text reads “Can I get a ride up with you?”
But the previous version isn’t gone. It’s sitting behind the update. That way, if there’s a disagreement later on who said what to whom, the pre-edited message is still available.
Anyone who’s ever said they’re going to divorce when they meant Disney, or bragged about killing their new boyfriend when they meant to say kissing, can see the advantage of editing sent texts.
But whether Apple will actually implement its proposed system in iOS 14 is anyone’s guess. It regularly patents ideas and inventions that don’t get used.