It’s no hidden fact that with the amount of personal data that our smartphones today hold, privacy and identity protection is a huge concern. There have been ways around to “lock” your device for a very long time – long before iPhone and Android ever existed – but those phones didn’t really contain as much sensitive personal information as the former, not to mention that smartphones truly became popular and mainstream after these two contenders claimed the market. Hence, privacy concerns are much large scale now.
With Android, you get basic forms of locking the whole device –
pattern, PIN, passcode, even facial unlock, but the major issue with
these is that once you’re past the main locking mechanism, the whole
device in its entirety is exposed. Sure, you can protect your text
messages using apps like Go SMS Pro, but what about other areas
of your device? What of, say, Gallery, where you may have private
photos that you don’t want people snooping around. Maybe you want to
hand over your phone to a child and are afraid they may screw up the
phone settings? For such instances, App Lock (Smart App Protector) is a good choice.
This free app is one of the most powerful ones around in the Google Play
Store of its genre. The app allows you to lock individual apps using
passwords, patterns or gestures, and lets you configure a different
setting for each locked app, so that knowing one pattern/password
wouldn’t jeopardize everything else. Likewise, App Lock can take over
your phone locking mechanism, too, whereby allowing you to bypass
Android’s native locking system and use App Lock instead. What’s even
better is the app’s “fake out” system, where if someone taps a locked
app, they’ll see the native Android “this app has stopped working”
dialog. You hit OK, and you go back to the home/previous screen, but you
tap and keep OK pressed, and you’re asked to enter the password for
unlocking the app; pretty useful and neat, isn’t it?
Finally, App Lock can take pictures of someone who tries to unlock your
phone without the right password/ pattern/ gesture, so you’ll always
know who the culprit was. The app allows locking individual settings as
well, such as Bluetooth toggle, Wi-Fi, cellular data etc. A pretty solid
and comprehensive overall package, we must say, that left us impressed.
App Lock requires Android 2.0 and above, and can be installed for free at the source link below.
(Download: App Lock for Android on the Google Play Store)