Imagine you’re having a wonderful dinner at a fancy restaurant with your wife or fiance. As usual, you put your iPhone on the table so the others can see what a cool kid you are. All the sudden, the following text message arrives on your iPhone. Before you have time to hit “close”, your wife has already ripped your head off.

This accident likely happened hundreds if not thousands of times since the iPhone came out in 2007. Until then, there was nothing you could do. A few jailbreak applications allowed you to hide this but for some reason, Apple never felt it was a feature worth including in the iPhone OS.

Things have changed with the release of the 3.0 firmware which now allows you to hide the preview of any incoming SMS.

To activate this feature, simply go to Settings > Messages > and turn “Show Preview” off. As you can see on the image above, Apple also added a feature that will alert you two more times after receiving a SMS if you don’t read it right away. This is a feature that has also been available for a long time to jailbreakers.

Hiding the preview of an SMS won’t completely hide it from showing up on your springboard. You will still get a popup showing the name of the sender and “text message”, with the option for you to view the SMS or just close the popup.

That was a much needed option but I think it’s too bad you still see the name of the sender (or his phone number if not in your contacts). It’s a matter of privacy. A name showing up on your iPhone can still lead to awkward moments…

Have you ever had an awkward because of a SMS arriving on your iPhone? If so, please share it with us in the comments.