Ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to type a text, but didn’t want anyone to notice you doing it? If so, then you should take a look at StealthType SMS. Created by Cleverlike Corporation, this app allows you to type text messages without ever looking at the screen. Yeah, seriously! No this isn’t a voice recognition app, because obviously if you’re talking into your iPhone speaker it wouldn’t be very inconspicuous. Instead it’s an app designed for use while wearing your headphones. While giving the impression that you’re listening to music on your iPod, StealthType SMS provides you with an responsive keyboard that gives you audio feedback when you touch it (A-B-C-D). To send a stealthy text you just select one of your contacts, place your finger on the keyboard without looking and while continuing to press the screen, slide your finger from key to key until you hear the letter or option you’re looking for. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for just lift your finger to make that selection (W-a-z-z-u-p [Space] F-o-o-l). When you’re finished typing your no look message you’re ready to send a StealthType SMS.
Believe it or not this app actually works. I was able to type a text on my first try with my head turned and eyes closed. Everything within the app is communicated verbally the moment you launch it; “StealthType Activated”. To get started you first need to setup your contacts which requires looking at the screen. To add a contact, just choose someone from your iPhone contacts list and record yourself saying their name. Recording the name allows you to select it later without looking. You can add as many contacts as you like. The app home screen displays as many as 6 contacts without requiring you to page down. If you find that you use certain contacts more than others you can arrange them any way you like using the edit option on the contacts page. Once you’re all setup all you have to do is plug in your headphones, fire up the app, look away, and start touching the screen. StealthType SMS will pretty much do it all from there.
StealthType SMS definitely works. The one thing I didn’t like about this app was the actually sending of the text message. How so? Well, everything leading up to the actual sending of a text works as advertised. It may take a little while to get the hang of, but you can definitely pick a contact and type a perfect message without looking. However, to send the message StealthType SMS requires you to paste it into the standard iPhone SMS window and then press send. You definitely have to look to complete this step. So in the end, you can’t technically complete everything without looking.
I really like the concept of this app but I find some aspects of it contradicting. The fact that you have to wear headphones for it to work makes it seem conspicuous to me. Scenarios where I would want to be able to send a text without looking like I am is while in meetings, in school, while at dinner, that kind of thing. Putting headphones on in any of those situations would attract more attention then me looking down to type. So, even though it works really well, and totally does exactly what it says, I don’t really see people using this frequently. It’s probably more of a novelty than anything. That being said, if an update is made where you can send the text message from within the app without having to paste it on another page, then I think that’d be a major help and could see this being a really great app for the visually impaired.
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Requirements: iPhone or iPod Touch; iPhone OS 3.1.2 or later
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