Google could be developing a new feature for its Messages app that would let you edit a message after having sent it, according to code spotted by TheSpAndroid. References to the feature first appeared in a beta version of the app on November 19th, and there are four flags that appear to reference it, though attempting to enable them reportedly doesn’t do anything.
The evidence of the in-development feature has cropped up as support for editing messages is becoming increasingly common in other messaging apps. Apple added the option for iMessage users to edit sent messages with iOS 16 last year, and WhatsApp released a similar feature earlier in 2023. In both cases, you have a limited amount of time to edit sent messages — two minutes for iMessage and 15 for WhatsApp. Both of these services also let you delete messages after they’re sent, but that doesn’t appear to be the case for Google’s version.
A representative from Google did not immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment, and it’s unclear how the company’s own implementation of the feature could eventually work. We don’t know whether there’ll be a time limit for editing messages, for example, or whether a recipient will be able to see an edit history. But one code snippet spotted by TheSpAndroid suggests the feature will work alongside the RCS messaging protocol: “original_rcs_messages_id.”