Yes, another secure and ephemeral messaging app. There’s Wickr, Snapchat, Confide, so what makes Wiper Messenger different? I’ve had the chance to play around with the new free chatting app on iOS, and it seems to act as a fusion of WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Wickr. The app prompts you for your email address or phone number in order to create your account, and then you are brought to a fairly simple interface with three tabs across the bottom: Chats, Contacts, and More. Let’s go tab-by-tab:
iPad Air 2
Chats is where your list of current chats sits and is where you can begin a new conversation. The chat interface take a page out of WhatApp’s $18 billion interface book, and uses a dual checkmark system for message indicators. One check mark on your message means it is delivered and two marks means that it was read. Each message also includes a time stamp for when the message was sent, and the top of the chat also shows a typing indicator and if the other user is online.
Within the chat screen you can also send pictures and video and you can access the app’s unique secure calling feature. I’ve tested the calling feature, and, over WiFi, it is quite crisp. The developer calls it “HD” voice quality. You can text and talk over a network like you are still an AT&T customer, and calls are claimed to be encrypted much like the photo, video, and text messaging features. Both texting and calling are free, so the developers aren’t actually making money from the app. But don’t fear for the developers as the company tells us that it has raised $2.5 million and one of the co-founder’s previous companies had a $128 million exit.
While the texting and calling features work well, Wiper actually gets its name from the app’s “Wipe” feature. The wipe is actually pretty cool: you click the wipe button, and it instantly erases your entire conversation from your own local device, the device of the user you are chatting with, and from the Wiper Messenger’s servers. Wiper says it uses some fancy “patent-pending technology” to make this happen for your texts, photos, videos, and call logs. Just like Snapchat, the app will also rat you out to your friend if you take a screenshot of the conversation, but different from Snapchat, the messages only disappear when you or your friend want them to.
I can’t vouch for the encryption and overall security of this app in comparison to the other players like Confide and Wickr, but the erase feature is neat and works for me. The hold music on the calling feature is also not as terrible as your typical elevator tunes.
The Contacts tab shows everyone on your iPhone’s contact list and separates them into a list of everyone who has a Wiper account and everyone you can invite to use Wiper. This screen also lets you add new contacts.
More and iOS 8 update:
The more screen lets manage your profile and status message (yet, like in the old AIM days).
While Wiper is launching today, the developers have sent us a list of several new features already in the works to take advantage of iOS 8’s new APIs and functionality for developers. An iOS 8 update for Wiper will allow users to quick reply to notification, wipe conversations from notifications, enter the app using Touch ID-based authentication, edit photos using the new photos APIs, have more control over voice calls, and better manage privacy.
The free Wiper app works on the iPhone and iPod touch, but there is no iPad version (yet). However, your friends on Android will be able to find a variant on Google Play to message with you.