How invisible ink on iOS 10 works — and what you should know before sexting

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Apple's latest operating system, iOS 10, has a ton of fun features which revolutionize texting on the iPhone. The most-talked-about feature is arguably invisible ink, which lets you send obscured texts to people. Some have compared the feature to Snapchat, which lets you send messages that disappear forever after a few seconds. 

Before you start sending nudes, assuming your messages will disappear into the ether, you need to know how invisible ink works. Be warned.

How invisible ink on iOS 10 works

When you send a message with invisible ink, it doesn't disappear. The recipient can easily save them. Invisible ink just obscures the message on your screen until you rub it, at which point the image or message is clear. 

Here's what messages sent with invisible ink look like:

Messages sent with invisible ink  Alexis Kleinman/Mic

Invisible ink for iPhone doesn't make your messages disappear

It's not at all like Snapchat. Someone looking over your shoulder won't be able to see your text, but you can easily take a screenshot of the invisible ink message by moving your finger over it and screenshotting it at the same time. 

I did it myself. See?

Invisible ink screenshot  Alexis Kleinman/Mic

Not only that, but you can simply save a photo by pressing down on the invisible ink message. 

Saving an invisible ink message  Alexis Kleinman/Mic

If you tap Save, the image is saved right to your iPhone. So be careful what you send — it could come back to haunt you.

If invisible ink doesn't work...

There's an easy fix! Here's how to troubleshoot. 

Go to Settings, then tap General, then Accessibility. You probably have the "reduce motion" setting turned on, which saves some battery life. If you want to use invisible ink, though, you can't reduce motion in the user interface. You need that full motion. Tap it. Invisible ink is yours.