Confide brings off-the-record messaging to iPhone

Confide 1.0 for iOS (teaser 001)

With the recent Snapchat data breach (and the company’s subsequently poor handling of the situation) and given the ongoing NSA snooping scare, little wonder some folks would think twice before downloading a messaging app to their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices.

Storing your chat transcripts in the cloud introduces an attack vector so that’s a big no-no, right?

And you definitely at all cost want to avoid the contents of your communication kept on the device itself, no? So how about a 100 percent off-the-record messaging software, one that would bypass the cloud while allowing for Snapchat-like disappearing text messages?

That’s Confide for you…

Created by local Jon Brod, who co-founded local news site Patch, and marketing startup Yext CEO Howard Lerman, Confide’s pitch is simple and effective:

Spoken words disappear after they’re heard. But what you say online remains forever. We think this is crazy. Confide lets you take your messages off the record.

The program packs quite a punch in terms of keeping your conversations private, like screenshot protection, read receipts, encryption, self-destructing messages and more.

Confide is best described as the Snapchat for messages.

Messages are encrypted end-to-end and destroyed forever immediately after they’re read, on both ends, so they can’t be retrieved later.

Perhaps crucially, the app never stores message scraps, individual messages or whole message archives on your devices or servers.

Confide 1.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)Confide 1.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)Confide 1.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 003)

Such forward-thinking extends to incoming messages.

Messages must first be swiped with your finger to actually reveal the words. They’re calling it swipe-to-reveal and it’s designed to discourage screenshooting to an extent that the message is concealed until swiped over and the app alerts the sender if a screenshot is attempted.

What’s missing is a true screenshot protection by way of iOS 7 APIs to ensure that the recipient can never use the system screenshoting function (hit the Home + power/sleep button simultaneously) to save conversations as images to the Camera Roll.

Another cool feature: sending messages to any email address.

GigaOM does a better job explaining this one than myself:

Confide is different from Snapchat and other disappear apps in that it connects potential users through their email addresses, not by searching their phone contacts.

This means that if someone sends a message to a person who doesn’t have the app, they will receive an email that informs them there is a message from the first person waiting for them in the app.

Privacy advocates and security-minded users should jump with joy as Confide is Godsent for both personal and professional confidential conversations.

I’m sure normals will find a lot of good uses for it, too.

I’m imagining this would include circumstances when leaving a digital written trail of message exchanges could get you in legal trouble or any other scenarios where you’d be wise to avoid leaving a permanent trace on the web.

And the Internet’s permanence should worry you: a whopping 639,800 gigabytes of data is stored and cached forever on the web, every single minute.

Learn more at the Confide website and download the app for free in the App Store.

The download comes at 5.7MB and iOS 7.0 or later is a requirement.