Apple Won’t Let You Schedule Text Messages Because It’s Just Too Complicated

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Apple is considering adding the ability to let iMessage users schedule texts, according to Apple Senior Vice President of software Craig Federighi.

More accurately, Federighi said that scheduled iMessages is “something we’ve definitely considered (and something we continue to consider).” The Apple SVP made the comments in an email reply to a user asking about the feature.

An Unusual Email

Emails from Federighi aren’t uncommon. In fact, the company’s software head is well-known for being one of the most likely Apple executives to shoot an email back to a user.

But, as Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman notes, this particular email has a surprising amount of detail about why Apple hasn’t implemented scheduled texts yet. Federighi said that the feature comes with “a bunch of complexity.”

That includes how Messages would present unsent-but-scheduled messages and how it would handle deleting or editing “pending” messages.

Another question is how the system would handle receiving a text from a sender to whom you have outgoing pending messages — “i.e., do you blast them back with the pending messages?” Federighi wrote.

The Apple SVP also adds that there is a “social concern” about scheduled texts being sent at a time when the sender isn’t available to respond.

“This could be confusing for the person who is under the impression that you must be at the ready on your phone, since you just sent them a message,” Federighi said.

Scheduled Texts

The email suggests that Apple has wrestled quite a bit with scheduled text messages. Federighi probably wouldn’t have so many concerns about the feature if Apple had not tried to develop it.

Of course, one could also argue that Apple’s software division may be overthinking scheduled text messages.

While scheduling messages isn’t available as a native iOS feature yet, there have long been third-party apps like Scheduled or AutoSender that let users schedule texts in advance.

The apps aren’t perfect, however. And there are serious privacy concerns with letting a third-party platform have so much access to your contacts and messages.

It’s probably best to just wait it out for a first-party solution (and use reminders in lieu of scheduling).

Of course, Apple is sometimes fairly slow to implement new software features — just look at the swipe-to-text keyboard in iOS 13, which Apple debuted roughly six years after its Android counterpart.

But while an iMessages scheduling system may not be coming in the near future, Federighi’s email hints that Apple is still looking into it for future versions of its software.

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