Have you ever sent a text message and instantly regretted it? If only there were a delete button for messages that have already been sent.
The privacy-friendly, free Wiper messaging app for iOS and Android offers that option.
It allows you to text or make phone calls using end-to-end encryption. Wiper also allows you to wipe text conversations from your phone, the receiver's phone and even Wiper's servers, or so the developers claim.
I tested out Wiper to make sure the wiping feature worked, and while the setup was a bit clunky and I had trouble finding others on the app's interface, Wiper does most of what is promised. A coworker and I exchanged a few messages using Wiper. Once I used the wipe command — complete with eraser animation — she showed me that the messages disappeared from her phone, with a notification at the bottom of her screen letting her know that I had done so.
That could be handy in a pinch, if you want to eliminate records of your conversation. The name of who you're chatting with is also hidden from plain view (in case a pesky onlooker is standing over your shoulder) unless you tap a reveal icon. One weakness of Wiper, however, is that the recipient can screenshot your conversations. If this happens, though, you're sent a notification.
Wiper's about more than being able to destroy regrettable text messages. It was designed for privacy.
These days, privacy (or the lack of it) is something that weighs heavy on a lot of people's minds when they're using any sort of communication device. It's possible for unwelcome eyes — government bodies, hackers and invasive Internet trackers — to monitor our electronic communication, unless we take cautionary steps to hide from view.
Wiper aims to give you peace of mind when communicating with friends on your phone, but it's questionable if the information is actually eliminated from Wiper's servers if you use the erase command. The app is not open source—meaning it's not available to the general public to tinker with—so the most we can do is trust the developers' word on this. They claim they'll publish information about the software's workings, but the app is proprietary and will remain that way.
While there are encrypted messengers already available, the Wiper messaging app was designed to bring privacy to the everyday person , said Manlio Carrelli, Wiper's CEO. Not everyone who wants a degree of anonymity on the web is a journalist or activist, he said.
"We see privacy as one of the big issues of our time, and to make a dent in how folks think about and protect their privacy, we need to make the tools that provide it easy to use and super fun," Carrelli told Mashable. "Otherwise folks won't adopt them."
As part of the "fun," the app is automatically connected to YouTube and allows you to share videos instantly just by clicking them, in a way that's similar to sharing stickers on Facebook Messenger, for example. That way, you don't have to leave the app to share videos.
Though it's uncertain that Wiper's messages are actually completely destroyed if you wipe them, it's still a fun app to use and offers some clever features to protect your privacy.