According to rumors, Apple is testing a bunch of useful iMessage features that could potentially make it to iOS 14. One of those will reportedly let you retract already sent messages, with some fine print visible to both the sender and the recipient indicating that a message has been retracted from the conversation thread.
How is that different from simply deleting a message you've sent over iMessage? Simple - that one deletes it just for you and for none of the recipients. Retracting, however, essentially allows you to "unsend" the message, deleting it from both your and the recipient's respective chat threads. A godsend feature that could potentially save you from for those times when your brain tricks you into sending gibberish or... the most embarrassing of situations. Oops
Another new iMessage that's allegedly in the testing face will let you tag or mention specific contacts in a Slack-like manner by using the @ sign. Upon typing that one with your keyboard, your iPhone will suggest a list of contacts for you to choose from and mention. The tagged individual will reportedly be alerted even if they disabled alerts for the specific chat thread, which more often than not applies to group conversations.
But that's not all: it seems iMessage could score even more features. In particular, a "/me" command is reportedly being tested. It would allow you to share custom status updates inside the chat thread, which is similar to what Skype and Slack allow you to do. There would also be typing indicators for group chats, which is becoming a common trope of most messaging clients, especially ones with desktop clients. You will seemingly be able to mark the last message in a conversation as "unread" even after opening it.
All of these point out that Apple is very likely preparing to improve the Messages app with a slew of features that will make it a direct competitor to Slack and Skype, two predominantly work-oriented messaging services. Most of these will most likely make it to the Mac version of Messages as well, allowing Apple to take on Slack and Skype on the desktop as well.
When will these features be released, if at all? Supposedly, at the next WWDC developer summit, provided that it doesn't get canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak that's sweeping around. And that one could be the least of Apple's problems right now.
However, evidence of cross-platform support is still nowhere to be seen, but let's be honest - it might never happen.