If Facebook ever allows users to choose whether they want others to see the accusatory ‘seen’ indicator below their messages, we are pretty confident that a significant majority will likely disable the feature for good. iMessage has been offering similar read receipts for a long time, but at least you can turn them off at will from the Settings app. There are occasions, however, when keeping these receipts enabled can help. If you are talking to a close friend, it is probably convenient to keep the read receipt enabled, but during a conversation with your boss, you might not want that. SelectiveReading is a Cydia tweak that grants you complete control over iMessage read receipts. Users can choose to turn of the receipts for certain contacts, turn them permanently on for others, or even choose to make the decision individually for every message they receive.
Rather than littering your Settings app with a whole new menu of its own, SelectiveReading just adds its option to the Messages settings. If you have iMessage enabled on your device, the ‘Send Read Receipts’ toggle is transformed into a complete menu after the tweak’s installation. The first section of options in the SelectiveReading menu lets you configure the default settings pertaining to read receipts. There are three things you can do with the read receipt of your iMessage if you are using SelectiveReading:
- Off: Turn the receipts off completely.
- On: Let everyone see that you have read their text.
- Ask: This is the most interesting option on offer in SelectiveReading. With Ask, you get a popup every time a new iMessage arrives. If you want to send a read receipt for that message, tap ‘Yes’; otherwise go for ‘No’.
The default settings can be bypassed for some contacts if you want things to work that way. Toggle on the ‘Contacts Can Override’ option, and look for the contact you want to treat differently. The three options discussed above can be assigned individually to as many contacts as you want. In case things get a bit too messy, there is always the option of using the tweak’s ‘Reset All To Defaults’ option.
For complete privacy, you can use SelectiveReading alongside TypingPrivacy – the tweak that disables the typing indicator in iMessage. SelectiveReading works on both iOS 5 and iOS 6, and you can purchase it for $0.99 by heading to the BigBoss repo of the Cydia store.