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New iOS 16 Beta Sends 'Edited' Messages as Entirely New Texts

The ability to edit and delete messages in the beta doesn't work too well with older versions of iOS.

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A photo of iMessage on an iPhone
iOS 16's beta messaging features are experiencing some stumbles.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

Apple’s proprietary messaging standard hit a snag in the latest iOS 16 beta. The ability to edit and retract messages in iMessage isn’t as seamless as Apple described it would be at its WWDC 2022 keynote. And while that’s to be expected in software that’s still in development, it’s a reminder that even the most beautifully manicured walled gardens stumble a bit as they figure things out.

9to5Mac reports that the latest version of iOS 16 beta 2 introduces a solution to an issue that prevented older versions of iOS from receiving edited messages. But the fix for this ability sounds akin to how Android used to interpret likes from iOS by repeating entire messages, only with a “so and so liked” beforehand.

If you’re running the iOS 16 beta and send an edited message to someone running an older version of iOS, your recipient will just get the edit as a new message, rather than the old message changing. Older versions of the software will also continue to see messages that have been deleted, even after the sender revokes them on the other end. This includes the originals for edited messages.


9to5Mac posits that the issue is because Apple hasn’t developed a way to take those previous versions off the server and replace them with the new ones.

This scenario is why they call it a developer beta, not a “ready for the public to use” beta. Those using iOS 16 beta 2 will get the full functionality of the new Messages features with other users on the same beta channel.


It’s worth noting that the ability to edit and delete messages is only available within the first 15 minutes of sending a message. Similar to WhatsApp, iMessage will let the recipient know if a message has been edited or deleted on the sender’s end. The idea is to help maintain transparency between two parties, though it will likely result in some dramatic moments if someone realizes the other keeps changing their opinion!

Apple’s iOS 16 beta is still limited to developers. The first public beta should hit sometime in July, though it will hit everyone else’s phones and tablets this fall.