Text Message Mayhem. Will the Real Housewives abuse this new iPhone feature?

Text Message Mayhem. Will the Real Housewives abuse this new iPhone feature?

Apple now allows you to edit and unsend messages - a long-awaited but potentially dangerous new tool

by Nora Hogan

The new ability for current Apple devices to edit and unsend a text message is likely going to stir up some social turmoil.

If you’re a reality TV fan, you may have seen an episode or two of the Real Housewives franchise. With series based in cities like New York and Beverly Hills, it’s no surprise the shows come with a lot of drama.

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One recurring theme amongst housewives is the need to provide “receipts.” Receipts, in this case, refer to proof or evidence of some sort of misbehavior, usually involving text messages.

Apple just debuted its newest operating system, iOS 16, and some of the new features include updates to texting that will change the game when it comes to communication between iPhones. There are two new settings that just may throw the Real Housewives for a loop and change the way receipts are provided forever.

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New Texting Features on iOS 16

What did iOS 16 change about texting?

Apple’s new iOS 16 debuted the highly anticipated features for messages. Users with an iPhone 8 or above can update to iOS 16 and have the ability to edit and unsend text messages. That means if you make a mistake in your message or accidentally text the wrong person, you’ll be able to potentially catch that error before they see it.


How do the Real Housewives use text messages to prove points?

woman man reading text

Whether it’s the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Potomac, or another series in the popular reality franchise, the women love to bring their receipts.

The ladies have shown texts on the show, but some of the most entertaining moments of reunions and episodes past are when they have printed out text messages for the purpose of bringing proof.

While you may not consider a Real Housewives reunion episode to be similar to a courtroom, when grown women are arguing over who-said-what, it’s important you have evidence.

Iconic moments on Real Housewives include when Ramona Singer threw “5 months of texts” at Dorinda Medley during the RHONY Season 12 reunion and when Wendy Osefo had a page of texts blown up and printed out during the Season 6 Potomac reunion.

Now there are a few caveats when it comes to editing and unending messages.

two women sitting

How to Edit a Text Message on iPhone

While you’ll be able to edit a text, you won’t be able to change the words you said at a later time. You won’t be able to edit a text days or weeks after sending it because you have up to 15 minutes after sending a message to edit it. The other user will also be able to see a record of any edits made to a text message.

If you edit a text, it may appear in a few different ways depending on the phone the other person has.

  • If the person you’ve sent a message to that you later edit also has the current iOS software installed, they’ll see the word “Edited” under your text.  If the person doesn’t have iOS 16 or an iPhone, a text will appear that says “Edited to “____.”
  • You also are limited to 5 edits on a given message before you can no longer change the wording.


How to Unsend a Text Message on iPhone

While it’s great we have the unsend feature in case you accidentally send a message to the wrong person, you can’t magically delete texts from another person’s phone.

You can unsend a message up to 2 minutes after sending it. But like editing texts, this feature only works if the other user has iOS 16 installed.  Be forewarned, even if you see the message unsend on your end, that text will still appear on the other user’s end.


What do these message features mean for you?

The good news is these features seem to be meant for correcting small errors or typos you make in messages, not to put words in someone else’s mouth or create a false narrative.

You’ll be able to edit or unsend texts with iOS 16, but remember the effects only apply if the other user also has the same operating system as you.

While the Housewives may wish they could use their 15 minutes of fame to edit a text to portray them the way they’d like, this new feature won’t change anything for their receipts without anyone knowing. The only way the Real Housewives will be able to edit texts without it being blatantly obvious will be if they photoshop them – and that would mean the ladies aren’t real!


Can you edit text messages on Android?

At the moment, you can’t unsend or edit messages once they’ve been sent on Android. You can delete a text, but it will only delete it on your end.


Learn more about the entire new line of Apple products available to order now and other great features of iOS 16.

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