You can have hidden conversations on your iPhone. Here’s how

Notes, the popular note-taking application built into Apple’s operating system, lets you collaborate with multiple people on a note, whether it’s a shopping list or a collection of emails and passwords. Anyone who is part of the collaborative note can edit it in real-time, and while this is useful for keeping an up-to-date note, it can also be used to have a hidden conversation on your iPhone.

There is currently no way to send a self-destructing message text message on your iPhone, a la Snapchat. You can always delete the text message on your side, but it will remain on the recipient’s side (i.e. until iOS 16 theirs edit and submit special feature).

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However, with Notes, you can write a message in the note that the other person can then read, delete, and reply to. You can do this back and forth, with each person deleting each message after reading it.

In practice, you could have an incredibly long and personal conversation – with no evidence that it ever existed.

Continue reading: Apple Notes: How to set up passwords for extra privacy

If you want to learn how to turn a note into a hidden conversation place on iOS, here’s what you need to know.

Create a note

On your iPhone, launch the Notes app and tap Compose Button at bottom right to create a new note. Next, type something in the note to keep it, or it will be automatically deleted when you leave the note. You can also just go into an existing note, but it’s better to start over with a new one.

Notes app on iPhone

First, create a new note or switch to an existing one.

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Edit the note’s sharing options

Once your note is created and ready to use, you can start adding someone else as a collaborator, which means they can read and edit anything in the note. Tap to start More button at the top right and then press share note.

Now tap share options and make sure that Can make changes Option is selected under Permission. You should also turn off Anyone can add people if you want to be the only person who can add collaborators to your note. Return to the last page when you are finished configuring these settings.

Notes app on iPhone

Second, manage what your employees can do.

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Add a collaborator and share the link

Next, choose a method for sharing the note: you can send it via SMS, email, social media, and more. If you swipe on the sharing options, you can also select copy linkwhich copies the note link to your clipboard and allows you to paste it anywhere.

For this example I choose the copy link Ability to share the note.

At the top of the Copy link page, enter the email address or phone number of the person who needs to access the note. You can also tap Add to icon to browse your contacts. Adding a contact to the note is required – if you share the link without adding a contact, the other person won’t be able to see or edit the note, even with the link.

strike last Copy shortcut to copy the note link to your clipboard and share it with your collaborator.

Notes app on iPhone

Next, add your collaborator(s).

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Communicate secretly via notes

The other person on the receiving end must now open the note link and accept the invitation. If they agree, they’ll be taken to the Notes app and the shared note they just created.

To communicate, just type something in the note that the other person can see in real time, without having to click send. You will also receive a notification whenever the note is modified.

A corresponding color is shown for each person in the note (just for a moment), so everyone else knows who typed what. You can also swipe right from the middle of the note to see the name of the message’s author, along with a timestamp of when the message was composed and any corresponding colors.

Notes app on iPhone

Now you can secretly communicate with your friends or family.

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You can also tap share note button (with the tick icon), go to Manage shared note and then switch on Mark all changes. This way, all messages remain permanently highlighted in their appropriate color, making the conversation easier to read.

And if you want to keep your communication more low-key, delete your message or the other person’s message to remove it from the note. That way, your conversation is more Snapchat-like, with short-lived or short-lived messages that outsiders can’t see when sniffing through your notes. You can do this with any text in the notes, photos, videos, links, drawings, or other attachments that you add to the note.

Permanently delete your secret conversation

Not all secret conversations can go on forever, and that’s why now is the time to end them.

If you’re the owner of the note and want to keep the note intact for everyone but prevent them from editing it, you can easily do that. Tap that in the top right Show Participants press and then press Manage shared note. To remove a participant, you can either swipe left on their name and then press Remove or you can tap their name and then tap remove access.

Notes app on iPhone

To end the note conversation, remove all collaborators or stop sharing the note.

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You can also tap stop sharing Option that not only removes attendees from the note, but also deletes the note from all their devices.

If you are not the owner of the note, you can simply delete the note from the Notes application.

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