Obliviate is a new app from MakeUseOf that lets you send self-destructing messages. It’s great for sharing secret messages with friends that you don’t want sticking around on their phone, among other use cases.
The app lets you set a timer between 5 and 180 seconds for how long your messages will last. Once the recipient opens it, the message will disappear after a set time. And if you change your mind, you can immediately obliviate messages and bypass the timer.
Best of all, the obliviate is free and has no ads; never will. Plus, you cannot take screenshots in the app or copy the content of the messages (this feature is currently available on Android only, coming soon on iOS). This prevents others from recording messages you intended to be private.
Unlike other chat apps that have self-destruct options, obliviate doesn’t display chat history for increased security and privacy.
Using obliviate to Send Self-Destructing Messages
After you’ve downloaded obliviate, go ahead and open it. Tap the Get Started button, and you’ll need to enter your phone number to sign in. This lets you use the app without having to remember yet another annoying password.
After signing in, grant obliviate permission to access your contacts when asked, so you can easily recognize other registered obliviate users.
To send a self-destructing message, tap the obliviate button at the bottom of the screen. This will bring up a list of your contacts. Those who have obliviate installed will appear at the top with a purple dot next to their names. Tap the contact you want to message. Even if they’re not using obliviate yet, tapping on their name will enable you to send them an invitation to join.
On the compose screen, simply type out your secret message and tap Send. You’ll see a confirmation that the message sent and will indicate whether it’s been read. Tap the Back arrow to return to the app’s home and you can view your message list. If they haven’t read your message yet, you’ll see a Sent status.
Tapping their name will bring you back to the message screen. Here, you can tap the obliviate button to immediately obliviate (destroy) the message. This will take effect whether they’re reading it or haven’t opened it yet. If the message is read, the timer will start counting down. Once it reaches zero, the secret message will be destroyed.
Whenever you receive a message, you’ll see it on the home screen. Tap it to read it, but remember that it won’t last long!
Obliviate holds a few settings you can change to maximize your experience with the app. Tap the Settings icon in the upper-right to access them.
Use the obliviate timer option to adjust the self-destruct countdown. Anywhere from five seconds to 180 seconds is supported. The default is 60 seconds.
Disable Push notifications (they’re enabled by default) if you don’t want to see system notifications for new messages.
If you want to secure your private messages, enable the Passcode lock option. This lets you set a four-digit passcode to secure the app. It’s a great measure of extra security to prevent prying eyes from accessing your messages. If you enable the passcode lock, you can also use your fingerprint to unlock app (on supported devices) and FaceID on iPhone X.
Start Messaging in Secret With obliviate
Now you can message securely without worrying about prying eyes. There’s no company keeping a record of your messages, and they don’t stay on your friend’s phone either. With no screenshots and copying allowed (Android only, coming soon on iOS) and a passcode for extra security, there’s no way anyone will see your messages without permission.
Coming soon, obliviate hopes to add encryption, support for audio, pictures, and videos, custom notification sounds, and more! We hope you enjoy the app.
Download: Obliviate for Android (Free)
Download: Obliviate for iOS (Free)
What do you think of obliviate? Do you like messaging friends in secret? Please share your feedback on this app with us below!
Image Credit: Vintage cassette tape recorder via DepositPhotos