you've been keeping this from me

Am I The Last Person On Earth To Find Out You Can Now Mark Texts As Unread?

This is life-changing and... it's been an iPhone feature for like a year, what?

Why didn't anyone tell me that I can mark texts as unread on my iPhone now?
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I am not the world’s best texter. I will leave you on read for centuries. When I finally do get back to you, you might text me back again immediately and then get radio silence again. This is not because I do not like you (probably). It’s because I read your text when I was at work or wrangling children or multitasking eight things at once and told myself I would text you back later, never to think of your text again.

So when I found out today that Apple now allows iPhone users to mark messages as unread, I was totally ecstatic! This is life-changing!

And then I found out the feature has been around for a while.

On the iPhone, all you have to do is swipe right on the message, or drag right and tap the blue conversation bubble that appears.

You can even — and you should sit down for this — unread entire batches of messages by tapping the “edit” button in the upper corner and then select which messages you’d like to mark as unread.

Or, if we want to get really crazy, you can pin important conversations to the top of your messages page. Touch and hold the conversation and you will receive options to unread it, silence notifications on it, or pin it.

Apparently, all of these changes happened in June 2022 — with the advent of iOS 16 (although many people didn’t find out about it until February of last year). And then I (and, to be fair, the rest of the crew at Scary Mommy) didn’t know about it until we were today years old.

This is a game-changer for busy parents with mom brains who have no good way of keeping track of text messages that they don’t have time to respond to immediately. Or just completely scatter-brained people like me who have busy lives and the memory of a goldfish.

If you want to make other people think you haven’t read their text, though, this is not a solution. According to Lifewire, marking a text as unread on an iPhone won’t change the read receipt on their end, so put aside your thoughts of playing mind games with your friends and loved ones.

And if you have an Android and not an Apple? No problem. These phones also have a swipe to unread feature as of May 2023. What luxury!

And just in case we’re still missing anything, here are a few more fun and useful chat features that dropped with iOS 16 and 17 in the last two years:

  • Voice messages are now automatically transcribed;
  • You can “check in” with friends about reaching a specific destination;
  • You can share your location in real time (great for families and teens), for specific amounts of time;
  • You can automatically delete two-step verification emails after you use them (open Settings, scroll down to Passwords, choose Password Options and enable Clean Up Automatically).

Why doesn’t anyone tell me these things!?