Of all the areas of our smartphones we’d call the most precious, text messages would be somewhere near the summit.
On top of that, it’s one of those segments we like to keep the most private – obscured from the eyes of those prying brown-nosers.
If you don’t want the abject hassle of a passcode unlock every time you wish to use your iOS device, Apple doesn’t offer anything at stock level to protect your sensitive correspondence. As a result, one has to keep one’s device in close proximity, for fear of an inevitable Wikileaks-style dilemma revealed by those more concerned with the business of others.
Okay, so maybe I did get a little carried away, but the point remains – messages should be read by the intended recipient. Check the bottom of any e-mail from a company or official firm, and you will see a footnote as such. If you’re running a jailbroken device, this issue is easily remedied, since there are many small tweaks allowing messages to be hidden under lock and key. Moreover, BiteSMS – arguably the ultimate SMS tool for iOS – offers a passcode feature as standard, and I, sidetracking momentarily, would love to see a revamp of the Messages app in the image of BiteSMS sometime in the future; iOS 6 maybe.
If you’re not jailbroken, options are limited, and having used the likes of Lockdown in the past, I know firsthand how susceptible such apps are to circumvention. A new app, though, which operates under the name Black SMS, takes things a step further, allowing messages to be sent as encrypted, and relying on the recipient to decrypt the message using a password you have set.
Of course, it’s probably not your ideal day-to-day solution, but if you’re sharing really sensitive information, you’ll even be able to keep the wider audience (euphemizing The Man) off your back.
A free, decrypt-only iteration of Black SMS will soon be available over at the App Store, but for the time being, you can grab the normal version for a dollar.
Download Black SMS for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch [iTunes Link]