Apple iMessage Patent Describes the Ability to Edit Already Sent Texts

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week published a new Apple patent application that details features for editing sent messages, an improved application launcher and many other possible features. (via AppleInsider)

edit iMessages
The patent application specifically describes features of "a messaging user interface of a message application" that are not currently in iOS. These include ways to easily acknowledge messages, display private messages, synchronize viewing of content between users, translate foreign language text, and combine messages into a group. The document suggests improvements to some familiar Messages features such as bubble and full-screen effects, as well as sending and receiving money with Apple Pay.

Among the most striking new features presented is full text-editing capability for sent messages. A simple means of selecting a message with a predefined touch input could lead to a menu with an option for editing, resulting in "a message editing interface" and display of "a revised version of the message" for all recipients. The included drawing shows a "Show Edits" button that could show a history of changes.

iMessage apps were introduced in iOS 10 with some limitations, and many messages apps are reliant on existing third-party apps on a user's device. The patent, however, details fuller apps within Messages and new "Application Management Interfaces". The enclosed illustrations appear to show a dynamic application dock that would work alongside "input affordances" to guide the user to find the correct app. There is also the suggestion that applications in Messages could be more well-integrated and interactive.

Improving applications in Messages and text-editing features would allow Apple to better compete with other more fully-featured popular messaging apps such as WeChat. When these features will be included in iOS remains to be seen.

Top Rated Comments

quietstormSD Avatar
16 months ago
They should patent something that if the iPhone detects alcohol on your breath, the message will be undeliverable until the next morning. Then you won't need the edit feature at all.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TiggrToo Avatar
16 months ago
How is this a valid patent? Surely editing instant messages has been around for eons... Does this not get affected by "prior Art"?
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
konqerror Avatar
16 months ago

How is this a valid patent? Surely editing instant messages has been around for eons... Does this not get affected by "prior Art"?

The patent application specifically describes features of "a messaging user interface of a message application" that are not currently in iOS
The patent isn't about editing messages, it's about the user interface/look and feel/gestures used to edit messages. It's clear if you actually read the claims in the patent.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sanme Avatar
16 months ago
How about patenting replying to a specific message

Annoying af iMessage doesn’t have this in 2020
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nfl46 Avatar
16 months ago
Knowing Apple, this is coming to iOS 20 in 2026!
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H2SO4 Avatar
16 months ago

Apple thinks this is some killer feature lol.
Tell you what would be a killer feature, the ability to do a search in iMessage that's actually useful. It's one of the reasons I use WhatsApp.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...