A Sneaky Way to Message Someone on iPhone Without Anyone Seeing It

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The Notes app on iOS offers a collaboration tool that allows multiple people to do just that: collaborate on a note. Anyone added to the note can read and edit the text, in real time, just like you would in Google Docs. This is an incredibly useful feature for connecting people working remotely on a single project, for work or school, but the collaborative feature can also be used to have a hidden conversation.

Currently there is no way to send a self-destruct message text message on your iPhone, Snapchat. You can still delete the text message on your side, but it will still exist on the recipient’s side (i.e. until iOS 16 releases its edit and cancel shipment characteristic).

With Notes, however, you can write a message in the note, which the other person can then read, delete, and reply to. You can do this both ways, with each person deleting each post after reading it.

In practice, you could have an incredibly long, personal conversation – with no evidence that it ever existed.

Read more: Apple Notes: How to Set Up Passwords for Privacy

If you want to learn how to turn a note into a place for hidden conversations on iOS, here’s what you need to know.

Create note

On your iPhone, launch the Notes app and tap the Compose button at the bottom right to create a new note. Then type anything in the note to keep it, otherwise it will be automatically deleted when you leave the note. You can also just jump to an existing note, but it’s best to start from scratch with a new one.

Notes app on iPhone

First, create a new note or navigate to an existing note.

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Change note sharing options

Once your note is ready and ready to go, you can begin the process of adding another person as a collaborator, which means they can read and edit anything in the note. . To start, press the After button at the top right, then press Share note.

Press now Sharing options and make sure the Can make changes the option is selected under Authorization. You also need to disable Anyone can add people in case you want to be the only person who can add collaborators to your note. Return to the last page when you have finished configuring these settings.

Notes app on iPhone

Second, manage what your collaborators can do.

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Add a collaborator and share the link

Next, choose a method to share the note: you can send it by SMS, email, social networks, etc. If you swipe on the sharing options, you can also select Copy linkwhich copies the note’s link to your clipboard and lets you paste it wherever you want.

For this example, I will choose the Copy link possibility to share the note.

At the top of the Copy Link page, enter the email address or phone number of the person you want to access the note. You can also press the To add icon to search among your contacts. Adding a contact to the note is mandatory. If you share the link without adding a contact, the other person won’t be able to see or edit the note, even with the link.

Finally, hit Copy Link to copy the note’s link to your clipboard and share it with your collaborator.

Notes app on iPhone

Next, add your collaborator(s).

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Communicate secretly via Notes

The other person, on the receiving side, should now open the note link and accept the invitation. If they accept, they’ll be redirected to the Notes app and the collaborative note you just created.

To communicate, simply type something in the note for the other person to see in real time, without you having to hit send. They will also receive a notification whenever the rating is changed.

Each person in the note will see a corresponding color appear (only for a moment) so everyone knows who typed what. You can also swipe from the middle of the note to see the name of the person who wrote the message, along with a timestamp showing when the message was written and the corresponding colors.

Notes app on iPhone

Now you can secretly communicate with your friends or family.

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You can also press the Share note button (with tick icon), go to Manage shared note then activate Highlight all changes. This way, all messages will remain permanently highlighted in their corresponding color, making the conversation easier to read.

And if you want to keep your communications more discreet, delete your message or the other person’s message to remove it from the note. This way, your conversation looks more like it would on Snapchat, with fleeting or short-lived messages that strangers can’t see if they snoop around in your notes. You can do this with any text in the notes, as well as photos, videos, links, drawings, or any other attachments you add to the note.

Permanently delete your secret conversation

Not every secret conversation can go on forever, so it’s time to end it.

If you are the owner of the note and want to keep the note intact for everyone, but prevent them from editing it, you can easily do that. At the top right, tap the Show attendees button then press Manage shared note. To remove a participant, you can either swipe left on their name, then tap Remove or you can tap their name and then tap Remove access.

Notes app on iPhone

To end the notes conversation, remove all collaborators or stop sharing the note.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Additionally, you can press the stop sharing option, which will not only remove participants from the note, but also remove the note from all their devices.

If you are not the owner of the note, you can simply delete it from the Notes app.


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