Confide app erases your text messages after they're read

Borrowing a page from Snapchat, a new iOS app promises to let users send self-destructing text messages.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Want to make sure that private text message you sent about your new job interview doesn't get seen by your boss? A new iOS app promises to bump it off in the nick of time.

Popping up in the App Store on Wednesday, Confide is a free message-deleting IM app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users. You can send text messages to any e-mail address, either by choosing someone from your contact list or manually entering the address.

To read your message, however, your recipient must also sign up for a Confide account and download the app. Viewing a message for the first time prompts them to do so.

Reading the message on an iOS device requires your recipient to drag a finger across the screen to reveal each word. A read receipt is also sent to you once your message has been read.

After the message is closed, though, it disappears for both the sender and the receiver, which is the whole point behind the app. The messages themselves are also private and encrypted to protect them on their journey.

Swiping to read the message feels cumbersome, but the description of the app explains that swiping is required to prevent someone from taking a screenshot of the text.

In my testing, the process worked as promised. I sent a text message to another account. After I read and closed the message through that account, the message was no longer accessible.

Snapchat offers a similar feature, deleting your snaps after they're read. But those of you not into Snapchat should find Confide a handy way to keep your messages private and protected.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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