Apple has long been expected to finally bring the capability to edit messages sent in iMessage with iOS 14, and the company has now filed a new patent for exactly that (among other things).
According to the patent filing, the text editing feature in iMessage will allow a sender to edit a message they have already sent to the recipient, while the recipient will be able to view edits made to the text message as well by using a context menu via a pre-defined touch gesture.
“To initiate the editing of the first message, the user selects the first message with predefined touch input (e.g., a tap gesture, long-press gesture, light press gesture, or deep press gesture) on the first message or the message region for the first message” says Apple in the patent filing.
Personally, editing, and replying to specific messages, are two features I really want to have in iMessage because as much as I enjoy using the service, at times it feels lacking.
Other than that, the patent application also mentions better app integration in iMessage including the addition of a dock, more independent iMessage apps. Apple describes this functionality as “an application-selection area that includes: a plurality of scrollable application-selection affordances.”
Apple does already give Messages more features than solely sending text or emoji messages to people. Alongside stickers, there are also ways to send restaurant contact details from an app, for instance. Many of these leverage third-party apps on the user’s iPhone, but those apps are not really within Messages.
They may be coming, however. And one part of enabling this is to have a way for Messages to let users quickly find, launch, and use apps. Apple describes its methods for these as being for Application Management.
I’m unsure about the utility of iMessage apps; I’ve used them, I don’t find them necessary to the experience. However, Apple may be working towards making iMessage an equivalent of what WeChat is in China — in that a lot of apps tie in with the messaging service, thereby making it even more useful as a whole package. That aside, I’m particularly happy about hopefully getting the ability to edit iMessages.