‘Smart’ Tools for Cheating
I am the rather reluctant owner of a ‘Dumb-Phone’. My phone does little else than send and receive calls and texts (erratically at that), and might occasionally deign to notify me that I have a voicemail, three days after the fact. Its most sophisticated features are its Tip Calculator and its ability to take a fuzzy, low-res, unlit image that it calls a ‘photograph’. I know I should invest in a Smart-Phone and believe me I am considering it, but sometimes I do wonder if we really ‘need’ anything more than (reliable) phone service, so I thought I’d do a quick search to see what fabulous Apps I could find that I couldn’t possibly live without once I had them.
And so … I did a quick search …
There’s an App for That!
Oh, there’s an App for that alright, if you want to prevent your phone from outing your affair to your partner/spouse. In fact, it’s a Cheaters-App jungle out there!
The Slydial mobile app allows users to directly call somebody’s voicemail, rather than actually connecting with them on the phone. If your affair partner wants to reach you but doesn’t want your spouse to find out, they can call your voicemail directly and let you know where to rendezvous.
Advertised with the slogan “Love is blind, we keep it that way,” the Call And Text Eraser app (CATE for short) helps adulterers by maintaining a hidden log of messages, calls and contacts. Also, all private information stored in the app can be deleted with one click. And if your spouse happens to walk into the room while you are accessing your hidden messages, you can shake the phone and the the app minimizes, causing scandalous texts to instantly disappear.
The TigerText app allows you to send text messages to someone else’s phone with a deletion timer. After a designated amount of time passes, the message will be deleted from the recipient’s inbox — that way, you don’t have to depend on the “other person” to get rid of incriminating evidence. With TigerText, you also have the option to recall a previously sent message before and even after it has been opened by another party. Supposedly, the name is not a reference to the philandering golfer (for whom the app would have likely come in handy). Founder Jeffrey Evans told Time magazine the name was in place prior to the scandal.
At a quick glance, the Vaulty Stocks app looks like your run-of-the-mill Wall Street monitor, tracking the market’s highs and lows of the day. But not all apps are what they seem; Vaulty Stocks is actually designed to keep private pictures and videos hidden from snooping spouses. Users can store racy photos from their affair partner in a hidden vault within the app to keep them far away from prying eyes.
The BlackBook app for BlackBerry allows users to create and maintain a list of hidden contacts (and accompanying text message conversations) that are kept separate from the regular phone address book and inbox. The BlackBook icon does not appear on the main home screen; instead, users must enter a special passcode in order to access it. Worried your spouse will see incoming message alerts? You can customize the alert display to say “System Memory Low” instead of having the name or phone number of the affair partner pop up.
The Mobile Vault
The Mobile Vault app not only hides contacts, pictures, videos and text messages, it also backs them up into a private cloud space — that way if you happen to lose your phone, you won’t lose any of your naughty photos or incriminating messages. If someone tries to break into the app by entering an incorrect password, the premium version of Mobile Vault will even snap a photo of the intruder.
Do These Tools Cause infidelity?
Now, I have an appreciation for businesses which adapt to the market and respond to changes in society, and I equally appreciate that an App is just a tool for people to use as they choose. I understand why Apps like these are marketed with affair and secrecy-laden imagery – they sell. I remain steadfast in my view that tools like these Apps, Facebook, Ashley Madison are not the cause of affairs - they simply don’t have the capacity to force or entice someone into an affair who doesn’t choose to enter into one.
To my mind, the developers of these Apps are doing nothing more than legitimately plugging into cultural trends to stay competitive and contemporary, in order to grow and develop their business. The issue I have isn’t the tool, but the society that craves them. Perhaps someone could develop an App to address that?