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Those responsible for the Confide app create a feature to prevent screenshots on iOS – and will make it available to anyone who wants to

Time flies, but today is exactly four years from the day we talk about the app here Confide, at the time of its launch. For those who do not know, he is an instant messenger focused on privacy and ephemerality, that is, all encrypted communication and messages are destroyed after reading.

For the past four years, Confide has used an ingenious method to prevent screen captures that would eternalize messages: reading the texts was possible only by sliding your finger over the content, making the process of pressing two buttons at the same time difficult to remove the screenshot. Still, if this were done, the sender of the message received a notification that the recipient had taken a screenshot.

Now, in the latest app update, the method for preventing catches is becoming much more robust and, on second thought, even indicting iOS so much that its creators are already creating an SDK for other developers to apply the technology to your apps. The technology has the name: ScreenShield.

Basically, from now on, when capturing the screen of a message in Confide, what you get is a blank screen, only with the iPhone status bar visible at the top; when realizing that the capture is about to be made, the application immediately ?whitens? the entire screen, making the content impossible to record. In any case, the sender of the message will continue to receive a notification that the recipient tried to capture the sent message and the message in question is immediately deleted.

And ScreenShield goes further: it prevents screen content from being captured by screenshots, the iOS 11 screen recording feature, QuickTime and Xcode (if the device is connected to a computer), in addition to blocking mirroring via AirPlay. Seems magical, doesn't it?

It is still unclear exactly what trick is used here to ensure the feature works, but John Gruber, from Daring Fireball, shares the guess of a friend who messed with the app code: it?s possible they?re using a variation of the FairPlay Streaming protocol that allows apps streaming, like Netflix or HBO GO, impel users to capture images of their highly copyrighted and image protected content.

The fact that the creators of Confide have already opened a channel for developers interested in ScreenShieldKit (the SDK that allows other apps to incorporate the feature) to contact us. In other words, soon we will see more applications with the same behavior, which can be great for environments where sensitive information or, say, sensitive images are shared.

Want more? The developers of the technology are already trying to register a patent for applications to detect cameras trying to photograph the content of their screens, which would be the final frontier for making such apps totally record-proof. But that, of course, is an idea that we still have to wait to see if it works.

Confide app icon