reTXT is a radical new messaging app that wants to fix everything wrong with online communication as it exists now. It landed back in April and includes a number of unique features — like being able to edit a message you already sent — all of which are currently patent pending. The app just updated today for iOS and Android with support for voice calling with end-to-end encryption as well.
Sticking out from the crowd of third-party messaging apps, I decided to take a closer look.
What’s really compelling about reTXT is its attempt to make messaging fundamentally simpler. When you send messages or photos, you can immediately edit what you sent if it’s in error. Even more interesting, reTXT has a built-in clarification feature. If you swipe right on a message you receive, you can send a question mark to the other person that’ll appear next to the message. It implies that you didn’t understand it and need clarification. When it comes to group messages, not only can you opt out of the ones that annoy you, but at any point you can actually choose to reenter the conversation.
It’s clear that a feeling of discontent with current messaging apps inspired these three features. reTXT CEO Kevin Wooten confirmed this in an email.
“At reTXT we don’t want to change the way you text message like other messaging apps, we just want to make the experience so much easier, secure, private and functional,” Wooten told Cult of Mac. “Changing or deleting something you’ve already sent should be automatic.”
While I acknowledge the feature is creative and new for a messaging app, I still remained skeptical about the benefits. Why is this any better than just sending new messages to correct your errors?
“Anyone that has ever gasped or had their stomach drop after sending a message they shouldn’t automatically gets it,” Wooten said. “Using reTXT gives you control of the conversation.”
Alright, I’m sold. I didn’t really ever find a use for the clarification feature, but I did see how being able to edit a message might prevent me from destroying my own life. Folks on the receiving end see the new message with a yellow stamp so they’re aware it’s edited, but they don’t know the history.
Outside of the aforementioned patent pending features, reTXT is just another messaging service. You can send messages to other reTXT users individually or in groups. Include voice messages, videos, contacts, locations or images while you’re at it. The app also lets you know when recipients are typing or viewed the message you sent. It’s all well and nice, but the alluring features are the still the unique ones.
reTXT seems to have gotten off to a modest start so far with only 47 reviews in the App Store and 85 in Google Play, but most of them are pretty positive. Perhaps now with more ammo in the form of encrypted voice calls, reTXT is ready to take on the likes of WhatsApp.