Messages Becomes More Flexible and Forgiving of Mistakes

Originally published at: Messages Becomes More Flexible and Forgiving of Mistakes - TidBITS

For many people, Messages gains some of the most welcome new features of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS 13 Ventura. You can now mark messages as unread, edit messages, unsend messages, and more.


At least on my iPhone, when showing the list of messages there’s a “< Filters” item on the top left, and you can click to see the filters; on the iPad there’s a menu to reveal the sidebar which does the same

This is the same for me and the option has been there since iOS 15. I don’t see the “Edit” menu Adam mentions, but new in iOS 16 is a “Recently Deleted” category under “Filters” where you can recover the deleted conversations.

Well, that’s freaky. I really do have Edit on both my iPhone and iPad, and no filters underneath, just Select Messages, Edit Pins, Edit Name and Photo, and Show Recently Deleted. I’ll admit that Filters makes more sense than Edit there.

CleanShot 2022-10-28 at 10.49.59@2x

Can one of you take a screenshot like what I have above and post it here? My iPad was running the iPadOS betas, but is now on 16.1, and my iPhone never saw the iOS 16 betas and is on 16.1. Restarting the iPhone made no difference.

Adam, I updated my 13 Mini yesterday and see what you do. (except for recently deleted since I haven’t deleted anything)


On my iPhone

My iPad does not have this menu

I show exactly this, iPhone 12 mini, iOS16.1

And that screen comes up after you tap Filters in the upper-right corner of the main Messages screen?

Curiouser and curiouser—what could be causing the difference?

That’s correct, although < Filters is on the upper left hand corner of All Messages in my case.

Sorry, yes, I should have written upper-left. Clearly COVID dyslexia. :-)

I’ve never seen anything like this in iOS before, where two people on the same iOS version would have radically different interfaces.

Settings / Messages / Filter Unknown Senders controls this. With that setting off, you see “Edit”. With that setting on, you see “Filters”.


So it does.

Ding ding ding! @ddmiller is officially my new best friend for the day—I would never have stumbled on that on my own.

I’ll update the article shortly.

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Personally the “Report Junk Mail” option just irritates me. Right now we are getting a lot of political texts - not exactly junk, but almost all include an option to STOP, which they honor. I just want to delete them, and the extra step just makes it slower.

It is no longer an extra step in 16.1. When you delete the message, the delete confirmation comes up with a second choice to delete and report as junk.

Sorry if TidBITS readers are not interested in inter-app communication and referencing (I don’t know). But if anyone is, then I ask:

Has anyone dug in to see if the API to see if it supports copying a link to the selected message? That would support the Manifesto for Ubiquitous Linking, which is essential for users to connect data within and between apps.

In Announcing the Manifesto for Ubiquitous Linking: Professors, Developers, and Podcasters Unite for You to Be Able to Focus – CogZest I wrote:

How the world could be better

Whereas Apple Mail kindly has an API that allows automators to access the RFC-5322 compliant ID of the currently selected email. Software can use that to provide you with links to email messages. Microsoft Outlook however has no automation or UI to get RFC compliant email IDs. That means you can’t create robust shareable links in Outlook, or open messages by ID for that matter.

And so it is with many apps and web pages, from large and bigger developers.

Apple is not perfect either. It would be great if Apple provided an API to copy links to Messages and Notes. Software can work around the Notes limitation. But there’s no work-around for automators to identify Messages.

What’s more, Apple gives itself an unfair competitive advantage because it has a way to identify individual messages in Apple Messages that it does not grant to other software developers. For instance, in Apple Messages, if you receive or send a message with a date, by clicking on the date macOS can create an Apple Calendar event from the Messages message. A linkback will be added in the Apple Calendar item to get to the message. Automators and third-party devs are not given this basic functionality.

This manifesto does not merely apply to apps. It also applies to websites. For instance, in many web Mail apps, you can click on a link to open an email. However, the web app does not tend to update the URL (address) with the RFC-5322 compliant ID for that email (gmail fails here). That means you cannot reference (link to) that webmail.

In any event we at CogSci Apps Corp. who develop Hookmark (formerly known as “Hook”), will have a look. We’ve been wanting to connect Messages from day 1, but no messaging app that I know of is developed by people who value Ubiquitous Linking.

apparently I left that subordinate clause all to its lonely self. Oh well…

2022-10-31 18:55 PT. fixed it on the blog now. I also mentioned Spark email in the same boat as Microsoft Outlook as not being “URL friendly” (a term I got from David Sparks ( “MacSparky” of Mac Power Users)) in the sense of the Manifesto for Ubiquitous Linking. In the case of Spark, their links are not interchangeable. Readdle’s change to electron made Spark even worse than it was when I wrote the post in 2021. The post links to several mail apps that are link-friendly (i.e., via UI and automation enabling one to get the name and RFC-5322 compliant ID of the selected or open email, so that one can construct links to share with any user of a URL-friendly email app.)

It’s surprising to me that none of the messaging apps (to my knowledge) are link-friendly. Most other major software categories have lots of URL friendly apps to choose from.

You know, @LucCogZest, the Agenda 16 release notes said this:

Easily jump straight from a shared note into the corresponding thread in Messages app

I think that’s related to the new collaboration features in Messages, but it suggests to me that there must be some programmatic way of linking to a specific conversation that developers outside Apple can access.

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