Confide Introducing New 'ScreenShield' SDK That Will Allow Developers to 'Screenshot-Proof' Their Apps

Private and secure messaging app Confide is gaining an interesting new feature that will successfully prevent its users from taking a screenshot within the app, and the team behind Confide is also planning to release the anti-screenshot technology as an SDK that can be used by other app developers.

Called ScreenShieldKit, the new SDK prevents screenshots, screen recording, QuickTime recording, Screen mirroring, Xcode screenshots, and viewing an app's contents in the App Switcher on both the iPhone and the iPad.


There is no dedicated API to stop screenshots from being taken in iOS like there is in Android, so ScreenShieldKit is using a whiteout feature instead. In an app that has ScreenShieldKit enabled, screenshots taken are a blank aside from a single status bar at the top. The same goes for recordings.

Apple does have a feature that prevents screenshots from being taken in apps that stream video content from a server, such as Netflix and iTunes, but since Confide does not stream from a server, Confide's developers tell us it took quite a bit of tweaking and work to develop ScreenShieldKit.


The Confide team used a "collection of technologies" to get ScreenShieldKit to work, and they believe they're the first to come up with this screenshot proofing concept on iOS devices. ScreenShieldKit uses only public APIs, and no private APIs, and it's a seamless experience for end users.

The current version of the Confide confidential messaging app already protects against screenshots by revealing just one line of text at a time, but the new ScreenShield feature is being implemented into the app to provide even more robust screenshot protection.

In the Confide app, ScreenShield will make it so any screenshot captured will show no message content. Confide also already uses end-to-end encryption and erases messages after they've been viewed to provide a secure messaging platform.


While Confide's ScreenShield feature will prevent on-device screenshots, there is, of course, no way to stop people from taking a photo of an iPhone's screen with a secondary device. Still, for on-device use, it's a solid solution that many developers may be interested in adopting.

Confide is offering the ScreenShieldKit feature to developers, with more information available on the ScreenShieldKit website.

The Confide app, with ScreenShield built in, can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
29 months ago
Enough is enough.
if I pay $1k+ for a phone you better believe i want to be able to take a screen shot on said device.

AE
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
Great, so an app can now keep the device owner from creating screen grabs on the device they own? I certainly hope this is completely user configurable, otherwise it is a complete fail.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
So I can use someone else phone to take a photo or stick my phone on copier. You can't stop people from screen capturing.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
Apple will not allow this when it attracts their attention.

If they were okay with devs limiting screenshotting, they would have simply created an API for it. It's too easy for them.

EDIT: It seems this company has wasted its time.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago
I'll stop using any app that prevents me from taking screenshots. I hope no developer thinks this is a good idea, because in my opinion, it is not.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
29 months ago

Great, so an app can now keep the device owner from creating screen grabs on the device they own? I certainly hope this is completely user configurable, otherwise it is a complete fail.


I think this is marketed to developers so they can prevent the user from doing what they want. Like every other attempt to prevent "copying", this will create complexity and be defeated like all the others.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Considering Delaying iPhone 12 Launch 'by Months'

Wednesday March 25, 2020 12:51 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is preparing to delay the launch of the 2020 iPhones expected to be equipped with 5G technology, according to sources with knowledge of Apple's plans that spoke to Japanese news site Nikkei. Apple has reportedly held internal discussions about the possibility of delaying the launch "by months" over fears of how well iPhones would sell in the current situation, and supply chain sources...

Apple Helps Source Over 10 Million N95 Masks for Healthcare Providers in the U.S.

Wednesday March 25, 2020 10:25 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple over the weekend announced plans to donate millions of N95 masks to hospitals in the United States and Europe, and according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple has been able to source more than 10 million N95 masks in the U.S. and millions more in Europe. Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Saturday that Apple was aiming to donate supplies to healthcare providers fighting COVID-19, and clarified...

Hands-On With the New 2020 12.9-Inch iPad Pro

Wednesday March 25, 2020 2:10 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple last week announced new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, and as of today, the new iPads are arriving to customers. We picked up one of the new 12.9-inch models and checked it out to see just what's new and whether it's worth buying. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. When it comes to design, the new iPad Pro models are identical to the 2018 iPad Pro models, but ...

Kuo: Apple to Launch Several Macs With Arm-Based Processors in 2021, USB4 Support Coming to Macs in 2022

Thursday March 26, 2020 8:19 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple plans to launch several Mac notebooks and desktop computers with its own custom designed Arm-based processors in 2021, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo believes that Arm-based processors will significantly enhance the competitive advantage of the Mac lineup, allow Apple to refresh its Mac models without relying on Intel's processor roadmap,...

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.4 With New Mail Toolbar, iCloud Folder Sharing, Trackpad Support for iPad and More

Tuesday March 24, 2020 9:56 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.4, the latest major updates to the iOS 13 operating system that was released in September. iOS and iPadOS 13.4 come two months after the release of iOS and iPadOS 13.3.1 with Screen Time Communication Limits. The iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.4 With Screen Time Communication Limits and Real-Time Apple Music Lyrics

Tuesday March 24, 2020 10:21 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.4, the fourth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October. macOS Catalina 10.15.4 comes a couple of months after the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.3. macOS Catalina 10.15.4 can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free using the Update feature in the System Preferences app. The macOS Catalina 10.15.4 update...

Apple Says MacBook Air With Retina Display Can Exhibit Anti-Reflective Coating Issues, Unclear if Eligible for Free Repairs [Updated]

Thursday March 26, 2020 8:16 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple this week acknowledged that MacBook Air models with Retina displays can exhibit anti-reflective coating issues, as indicated in a memo shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacRumors. "Retina displays on some MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers can exhibit anti-reflective (AR) coating issues," the memo states. Apple's internal service documentation ...

Hands-On With Apple's New Smart Keyboard Folio for the 2020 iPad Pro Models

Tuesday March 24, 2020 12:38 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple last week introduced new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, which are set to arrive in the hands of customers starting this week. Apple introduced a nifty new Magic Keyboard with trackpad alongside the new iPad Pro models that's coming in May, but it also debuted a new Smart Keyboard Folio, which is available now. We picked up the Smart Keyboard Folio for the designed for the 2020 iPad...

Hands-On With the New $999 MacBook Air

Thursday March 26, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Alongside new iPad Pros last week, Apple also refreshed the MacBook Air, adding more storage, faster 10th-generation processors, and an updated keyboard. We picked up one of the new machines to take a look at some of the upgrades added in the 2020 update. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, there are no real external changes to the MacBook Air's body,...

Mobile Networks in Multiple Countries Display 'Stay Home' Message When Users Connect to Cellular Instead of WiFi

Tuesday March 24, 2020 3:46 pm PDT by Juli Clover
iPhone users in several countries who disconnect from WiFi on their devices will see a "Stay Home" message at the top of the Control Center where cellular network information is displayed. Image via Matt Navarra According to reports on Twitter, the status bar messages are showing up in countries that include Germany, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Peru, Turkey, India, Luxembourg, Romania,...