Apple has considered scheduling iMessages in the past

What you need to know

  • Apple has considered allowing scheduled iMessages.
  • Craig Federighi revealed this in a response to a customer email.
  • He pulled back the veil on Apple taking into account every little detail, including social norms that made the feature hard to employ.

“This is something we’ve definitely considered.”

Apple considers many features to employ in its devices and services, most of which never see the light of day. One of those seems to be scheduled iMessages. A customer recently emailed Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi asking about the feature and his response revealed that it is something Apple has considered in the past.

The Apple user who emailed Federighi posted the response on Reddit. He was likely expecting no response or a simple yes or no statement, but what he got was some inside knowledge of the way Apple thinks of software features.

Federighi revealed that Apple has considered the feature, but there are many elements it must take into account.

Of course, it does come with a bunch of complexity:

  • How to represent unsent messages
  • Support for deleting and editing pending messages
  • What to do [when] someone sends you a message and you have outgoing messages pending (i.e. do you blast them back to pending messages?)

That response pulls back to veil on how Apple thinks a feature through before incorporating it into its software. It has to think of multiple pain points and how it will function with not only the software but everyday norms.

And of course, the social concern that we may end up sending the messages at a time that you are not available to respond to any replies that come back—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.

Though not explicitly stated by Federighi, Apple seems to have opted to exclude the feature as it presents too many complications. He does note that it is “something we continue to consider.”

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