Have you ever thought of modifying messages already sent? And what’s the point of correcting big finger errors once the receiver has read it? Well, Apple thinks there are a lot of problems with current messaging apps and has applied for a patent allowing its iMessage app to modify the messages already sent.
The patent application entitled Devices, methods and graphical user interfaces for messaging has been deposit with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) late last month in which Apple is discussing a host of features that could be added to its messaging app.
In the case, Apple claims that current messaging applications have many drawbacks and limitations such as their limited ability to easily recognize messages, modify previously sent messages and express what a user is trying to communicate, display messages private, synchronize the display of content between users, etc. .
Apple’s IMessage works on iOS, iPadOS and macOS and competes with agnostic messaging services for devices such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and Signal in addition to several video conferencing platforms like Microsoft Team, Zoom and Google Hangouts.
The patent filing also highlights the limits in terms of the ability to integrate with the camera, combine search and sharing, integrate interactive applications, stickers, make payments, interact with avatars, translate languages and group together messages.
While iMessage has earned a reputation as an all-in-one communications app for messages, video calls, and group video calls, the challenge is that Apple has never considered going to beyond its own ecosystem and design something for the Android and Windows 10 ecosystem.
The editing function would bring functionalities which existed on social applications such as WeChat where when the user long presses on the text, an editing option appears and allows to modify the text sent. Of course, the fact is that the modified message will display “modified”, which means that the recipient will know that an error has been made.
The ability to edit sent messages also exists on Slack, which allows users to edit a message after it is posted. However, these generally work in a centralized environment because the application does not really transmit a message to another user on a cellular network. In this case, all users are connected to a central server through which a change can be easily applied and viewed by the reader.
When it comes to text messaging and editing what has been sent over a network, things get complicated. The message must be retrieved, edited and resent while keeping a version of the one that is not edited. WhatsApp allows users to delete messages for everyone but does not modify a message already sent.
This is why Apple’s patent becomes interesting in the first place. However, would anyone see the light of day?