Finally, Apple will allow you to take back your embarrassing texts with "unsend" button

Originally published at: Finally, Apple will allow you to take back your embarrassing texts with "unsend" button | Boing Boing


You can “Unsend” now.

Trouble is that it only removes the text from your phone.



And thus we never learn…

I used to run email systems. Some email systems allow you to unsend messages. But only within the same or compatible email system.

Unsending generally sends the recipient(s) a specially formatted message that the server or client then acts on.

But if you’re not on a platform that understands that special message then it just arrives in the recipient’s mailbox and highlights that a previous message has a problem.

Now you look unprofessional at best, cowardly at worst, and have drawn attention to it. People will go looking for the problematic message. Both of these things are probably the opposite of what you wanted.

Honestly, just own up to your mistakes and handle them. Unsending is a bad idea. It sometimes works, but generally speaking it’s not something you should rely on. Have some damned integrity, and the good sense to think about your messages before you send them.


But us green bubble friends will always know what you originally said.


Oh, good. Another proprietary feature meant to lock users in, but touted as a user-friendly addition. It’s unclear to me from this summary if this is actually about texts as in standard, cross-platform text messages (in which case, be prepared to see messages like “User has requested deletion of message: I think yur cute” if you’re not blessed with a (newer) iPhone, or if it’s part of and unique to the iMessage platform, in which case I couldn’t care less.


this feature, i guess similar to “recall email” doesn’t make sense to me. you have up to 15 minutes to unsend? if you are like me and my family, the response times are generally quicker, and if it is during the ball game, generally instant. type, proofread, send. that is your best feature right there.

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The real story here is “Mark as Unread”. This has been a glaring oversight for years.


As others have said, this is an anti-feature that answers ill-informed users’ wishes with a condescending trick, instead of being honest that what they want simply can’t be done.

If you work in IT support, it’s especially annoying when vendors lie to your users that it’s possible to unsend messages (or “lock” documents, or prevent copying of digital files), because it makes you seem like an asshole by telling the truth.

You don’t actually want any of these things to be possible, because it’d mean others could control you in the same way. Do you want people to gaslight you and invent new scams based on revising old messages? Because that’s what your phone will be allowing if it honors “unsend” requests.

(Hopefully Messages will at least show a positive indication when past messages have been tampered with, but if someone believes in unsending they might not be savvy about what such an indication means)


Maybe Apple takes all deleted texts and tosses them over to the NSA? -TinfoilHat


Does it also reach into the recipient’s phone and somehow delete the screenshot they took for posterity?


So do they just hold the message back for 15 minutes in case you unsend it? Because even if your are using Apple’s system, if you are in the app when the message arrives you could read it immediately. Do they then send the Men in Black around to wipe your mind if the sender recants their intention to send the message. It would really stuff up quick exchanges of messages in real time.

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Even if this feature did work as they want people to imagine it will, it boggles my mind how anybody thinks this is a net positive; as if it won’t be used for fraud, gaslighting, and abuse. How is having a (private) reliable record of interaction a bad thing?!

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Comes with a supply of Apple silicon.

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This is going to make a mess in legal proceedings… anyone who’s in or moving towards such things would be wise to turn off iMessage in their iPhones and default back to generic SMS lest certain messages that might need to be preserved for evidence should just cease to be.

This seems like a feature that seems tempting on the surface but dangerous beneath it, much like the repeated calls for adding an edit button to that there Tweeter service that the young’uns were all excited about a few years back.

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