Apple may be adding a number of new features to iMessage, including tagging individuals in a group and the ability to retract a message.
According to a report by MacRumors, Apple is experimenting with “a new Slack-like mention system that would allow users to tag other contacts with their name like @Joe or @Jane. When you type the @ sign, a list of suggested contacts would appear.” When used in conjunction with the “Hide Alerts” feature, this could provide a way to participate in a large group thread when specifically mentioned, and ignore it otherwise.
The company is also working on the ability retract a sent message. When this happens, “fine print visible to both the sender and recipients would indicate that a message has been retracted. It is unclear if there will be a time limit on retracting messages.”
There’s a slew of other features being worked on, including group chat typing indicators, the ability to mark the last message as “Unread” if Read Receipts are turned on, not to mention bringing the “/me” command for sharing status updates from macOS to iOS.
If the report is true, these new features come at a time when Google is working hard to close the gap between Android messaging and iOS messaging. It appears, however, that Apple may be looking to move the goal line even further away.