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Sponsored App Review: TakeBack

October 13, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Description: TakeBack is an Android app that lives up to its name; it allows you to take back text messages that you didn’t mean to send. You know those times where you’ve sent the wrong message to completely the wrong person? TakeBack is designed to prevent those awkward conversations and situations that often follow. They’re often not all that amusing to endure and we all slap ourselves when we’ve done it. How TakeBack works is by sending your SMS messages to a server first, before they’re sent to the other person’s phone. This gives you a delay in which to delete the message before it is sent finally to the other person’s phone. However, if you want to delete a message once it’s actually landed on someone else’s phone both parties will need TakeBack installed. Can TakeBack help save you from those awkward conversations that you could have avoided by deleting a simple message? Let’s find out.

How it Works: To start things off, you’ll need to download TakeBack from the Play Store. The Lite version of the app is free and allows you to delete one message at a time, but it features ads. Upgrading to the Pro version removes ads out of the way. You’ll need to register your phone number in order to use the app, but that’s all.

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went ahead and sent a text message to a friend that I knew didn’t have the app installed in order to see how it worked.

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I took back the message and I found that it had in fact worked, but I am assuming this is because of some sort of delay in sending the messages from TakeBack’s side to the intended recipient.

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Sadly though, if I wanted to delete the message from Joe’s phone after the message had landed on his handset, he’d have to have the app installed and to use TakeBack as his messaging app. However, the app does let you know which of your contacts have TakeBack installed thanks to a neat little green check besides their name.

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This is a downside of the app, but we can’t expect one developer to go ahead and rewrite how text messages work now can we? The app could be more inviting with a little more about it, but it’s simple and does exactly what it sets out to do; which is something that isn’t available in WhatsApp and the other usual suspects. The Pro version can even let you delete a whole conversation from someone else’s phone, allowing friends and family to forget about an argument they might have had or a disagreement of sorts.

Opinion: While it is a shame that the two parties both need to have TakeBack installed for it to be truly useful, that might not be such a bad thing in the long run. Afterall, people are more accustomed to using online messaging clients than ever before. Still, I can’t see average users, and especially parents using this sort of app over the messaging app included in their phone. Sadly, the one thing that TakeBack, WhatsApp and even Google’s Hangouts cannot overcome is the fact that SMS is still the de facto standard, SMS messages can reach pretty much everyone in your contacts list. Of course, that isn’t to say TakeBack is a bad app, far from it. It still works just as advertised and if your friends do have the app installed, then you’ll be able to message away without looking over your shoulder to avoid awkward conversations after a text sent in error.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – TakeBack runs just fine and if you’re looking to delete messages, this process is pretty quick as well.
  • Features (4/5) – It does exactly what it sets out to do and it works fairly well, but it is a little troublesome that you need to have the app installed as well as your friends to get the full functionality.
  • Theme (4/5) – While not the most inviting messaging app available, this is far from being ugly and the UI is pretty straightforward and easy to use.
  • Overall (4/5) – A good effort that’s only held back by needing to be installed on your contacts’ devices as well as your own, but this isn’t a problem unique to TakeBack.

Pros

  • Easy to follow UI that doesn’t ask too much of its users.
  • Great for those situations where you’ve sent the wrong message to the wrong person and wish you could turn back time.
  • TakeBack is a nice alternative from WhatsApp and the rest of them, putting more control back into your hands.
  • Features are easy to use and you can quickly take back messages you wish you never sent.

Cons

  • Needs your other contacts to have the app installed as well, which is a little bit annoying.
  • UI is easy to use, but does feel a little sparse.

Conclusion: TakeBack is a very interesting concept and it works pretty well in practice, it’s just a shame that your other contacts need to have the same app installed, too. Overall though, I was pretty impressed with the messaging side of things. I just wish that I didn’t need to encourage my friends to install one more app, but this isn’t a unique issue to TakeBack, the same is true of Hangouts as well as WhatsApp. TakeBack has something that those two don’t of course, the ability to pretty much turn back time.

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