KEY POINTS

  • The ability to edit sent messages can help people avoid troubles
  • While some apps allow editing sent messages, normal text messaging apps don't
  • Apple is working on adding the feature to the Messages app

There are times when a smartphone user wishes to be able to edit a text message he sent to someone. These messages including wrongly typed words, or words that the AutoCorrect function completely changed.

This is important because a change in the words used in any text can result to many things, ranging from unimportant, like double letters, to a very serious error like “killing” instead of “kissing,” as per Cult of Mac. Certain messaging services such as Skype and allows editing sent messages so that users can avoid these errors. Regular text apps, however, don't have such a feature.

Thankfully, Apple is working on adding such a feature to the built-in Messages app. This information came by way of a newly-published patent application titled “Devices, Methods, and Graphical User Interfaces for Messaging.”

As per the patent, Apple plans to allow users to edit texts by long-pressing the text that needs editing, then choosing “Edit” from a menu that appears. The interface will change in appearance and allow users to edit the text message they want.

The patent showed a sample conversation where a person named Isaac erroneously typed “Can I get a ridiculous up with you” when he meant to tell the other person named Genevive “Can I get a ride up with you.” The edit function allowed him to correct the mistaken word.

Messages app
Apple is working on a feature that lets users edit erroneous text messages. Apple/USPTO

Those who worry about other users editing messages to hide certain things need not worry about it. The patent indicates that edited messages will be placed on top of the original message. Users will still be able to see the original, unedited text with a few taps on the screen.

The patent reveals that Apple also intends to add more features to the Message app, iPhoneHacks noted. These features include the ability to use special effects such as balloons, fireworks and more to emphasize certain text messages. These effects can be added to messages using gestures and multi-touch taps.

While the features sound interesting, it's unclear as to when these features will roll out. This is still a patent application at the moment, which means a release date remains currently unknown.

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