Remotely erase text messages with Wiper


The best thing about classic Bond films is the high-tech spy gear. My favourite has always been the top-secret message that came with a self-destruct warning. The patent-pending technology from Wiper essentially does exactly that: as long as you and your friends are both using the app, it’s possible to delete all traces of a text from both your phone and the recipient’s (and from Wiper servers) – handy if you accidently texted your frenemy that snide thing you meant to say about him to someone else.

There’s extra transparency in that you can see whether your friend has wiped or read what you’ve sent them. In addition, phone calls are encrypted and Wiper doesn’t keep call logs. Real-time typos as a feature? Get real! Texting was simpler back in 2009. You couldn’t see the icon that meant someone was busy typing a response to your SMS, something that irritates when you can see how long they’re typing for and then, mystifyingly, receive a monosyllabic response. With Beam Messenger for Android you can opt for what they’re calling “real-time texting”. The recipient can see your words as your type similar to when you’re sharing a Google Doc.

The advantage is supposedly that you can interject during a long text to say you’ve heard that particular anecdote already but it’s really just exposing clumsy keyboard bashing. It also allows the other person to constantly interrupt your flow of typing. Real-time texting is a feature and not a bug? I’m not convinced. Partridge or Madeley: when life imitates cheesy comedy “Do you find that people patronise you? That means that they talk down to you.” This is such a well-crafted comedy line that it could have come from the mouth of fictional radio and TV personality Alan Partridge. It’s actually a quote from the real-life Richard Madeley of Richard and Judy fame, who I hope hasn’t accused farmers of feeding beef burgers to swans or worn a Castrol GTX bomber jacket to a funeral.

This guessing game is the sole mission of a Twitter account that plays on Madeley’s celebrated tendency to come out with endearingly wacky comments. Madeley himself says it’s “mostly b*ll*cks but pretty funny”.