iPhone Text Message Privacy: How to Turn off SMS Preview
Update: The SMS Preview privacy issue is now resolved as of the iPhone 3.0 software update.
In my original iPhone review, I complained about having little privacy on the iPhone when receiving incoming text messages.
When you receive an SMS message on your iPhone, a preview of the message content pops up on the screen, and you can choose to either view it or ignore it. While this “SMS Preview” feature may be very convenient, it could be troublesome if a friend or family member is playing with your cool new gadget and a message you’d rather have remained private pops up on your screen — ouch!
Well today I was browsing through the iPhone Settings menu, and I came across a “Show SMS Preview” ON/OFF button. The only problem is, the option to turn off SMS Preview is available only when you set a Passcode Lock for your iPhone via Settings >> General >> Passcode Lock.
Since I’d rather not have to deal with entering a password every time I want to use my phone, I set the Require Passcode field to “After 1 hour,” so that I’ll only have to enter it at most once an hour. Really, though, I rarely go 60 minutes without using my iPhone for something, so I’m hardly ever prompted for a Passcode.
Now when I receive a text message, the iPhone displays the name of the sender and “Text Message,” rather than an excerpt of the message content.
I’m glad to have discovered this option, but I would really like to be able to turn off SMS Previews on the iPhone without having to set a Passcode Lock. What about you?
New: Has SMS Preview gotten you into trouble? Share your awkward or embarrassing stories here.
Update: A third-party app called Caterpillar solves iPhone’s SMS privacy issue. Click to read my review of the Caterpillar app’s Privacy feature.