iOS allows you to add an Invisible Ink effect with messages in iMessage, to add a dose of privacy. But the system has a major flaw: Siri.
Integrate secrets in text messages is very risky. Email is clearly not an option, just like traditional SMS. Encrypted messages, like iMessage, are better, as only your device and the recipient can read the messages, but you’ll never be sure who’s on the other end.
You should use iPhone Invisible Ink
You might already know that the best way to protect your iMessages is to use the Invisible Ink effect. If someone else looks over the shoulder of the message recipient while the conversation is open, they will only see a mush of pixels. The notification, meanwhile, simply says “Messages sent with Invisible Ink.”
Invisible Ink will not save you if someone has access to the recipient’s phone and decides to scan the pixels to read the message, but it is a valuable additional protection to limit the risks.
The only exception here is if you want to use the effect with an SMS. These effects are exclusive to iMessage, meaning your iPhone will just let the recipient know what kind of effect was placed on the message.
Siri does not work with Invisible Ink
When it comes to iMessage, however, there’s one big flaw: Siri. You would think that a voice digital assistant would do the job properly, but no. If you ask Siri to read your messages and one of them contains Invisible Ink, Siri will read the entire message. And you will even specify “sent with Invisible Ink”.
This lack also extends to CarPlay: imagine a car with passengers who would hear a message that they really, really should not hear. It might be your fault for asking Siri to read said message aloud, but if you know that invisible content is also read aloud, you might think twice.
When you come up with a feature like Invisible Ink, it would make sense to go all the way, to really make the content invisible…invisible. When Siri reads a message with Invisible Ink, it should ask if it can continue reading, for example. Apple may never offer this upgrade, so be careful when asking Siri to read your messages aloud.