Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

iobit   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]It’s a sad truth, but you do need an antivirus to securely use Android these days. Google Play is teeming with beautiful and interesting apps, but it also has its fair share of bad apples seeking to misuse your personal data, drain your battery life, or be malicious in other creative and surprising ways. Fortunately, there’s no lack of high-quality antivirus apps: We’ve previously looked at three of the best antivirus apps (Kaspersky, Lookout, and F-Secure), and also reviewed Lookout on its own.  Today I’m here to look at another product that strives not only to protect you from viruses, but actually make your phone or tablet faster: Advanced Mobile Care.

Before we get started, full disclosure: IObit, the company who makes Advanced Mobile Care, also offers some of its software via MakeUseOf Rewards. This is not, however, a sponsored review. With over half a million Google Play downloads and a 4.7-star average coming from over 6,100 reviews, Advanced Mobile Care is impressive enough to review in its own right.

Initial Impressions and Getting Started

When you first launch Advanced Mobile Care, it starts you off with a  quick three-screen tour (also known as an “onboarding”). This sets the visual tone for the app, which is generally blue and glow-y:

onboard 03   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

Many people look at their smartphones and tablets as entertainment devices, and it looks like IObit decided the app should take this notion and run with it. It also stresses simplicity:

main screen   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

That’s the main screen, with a very clear “first action” you’re supposed to take. But since I’m an inquisitive type, I hit the menu button before scanning just to see what happens:

menu   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

IObit eschews the traditional Android text-only menu for a more visual option. The colorful ribbons with the stars confused me, though; At first I thought they indicate sneaky “Premium features” for paid users, something IObit doesn’t hint at in the Google Play page. Turns out I was wrong: These features are just as free as the rest. I guess these are the ones IObit wants me to use or notice first. Interesting, since they seem to be randomly sprinkled in with the others.

What’s Included

Now would be a good time to list out everything Advanced Mobile Care tries to do with a quick explanation of what’s what:

  • Antivirus: Also scans apps as you install them.
  • Game Speeder: A feature that purports to make your games run faster by killing tasks before you launch a game.
  • App Manager: Lets you uninstall apps, sort-of in bulk (not really, though).
  • Battery Saver: A bit like a built-in JuiceDefender for cutting down on power-draining activities.
  • Task Killer: A downright irresponsible addition to the suite if you ask me. Android really doesn’t need a task killer to work correctly.
  • Privacy Advisor: Scans your apps and summarizes the permissions they require.
  • Privacy Locker: Safeguards your images and such behind a code. Still doesn’t make taking risquĂ© photos with your phone a good idea.
  • Invite Friends: For spreading and recommending the app.
  • Cloud Backup: Only for contacts and call logs. Requires an account; only useful if you don’t sync your contacts with Google’s servers.

This isn’t a manual, so I won’t be looking at all of these, just a few that piqued my interest.

App Manager

uninstall 01   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

The App Manager has several parts, with the uninstaller being just one. That’s the interesting bit, to me, so that’s what you can see above. It lets you checkmark several apps for bulk removal; but when you tap the Uninstall button, it doesn’t really remove them in bulk (like Titanium Backup does); rather, it triggers Android’s native uninstaller for each app separately, making you confirm each individual app. So, this saves a little bit of time, but not much.

More important, the uninstaller won’t let you sort apps by installation date, which is often the most useful way to track down apps you want to remove (mainly recently installed apps you realize you’re not actually using).

Privacy Advisor

privacy 01   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

The Privacy Advisor greets you with a quick explanation, alongside a hooded character that bears a striking resemblance to the guy you see on the top-left of a Chrome Incognito window. It then scans your apps, literally:

privacy 03 scan   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

While the scan is running, icons for your apps slowly scroll down what looks like an armored window, with a laser running over them. Clear, amusing, and visual – I’m sure some users would scan their apps just for fun. Once done, you get a page with scan results, which are basically a list of Android system permissions showing how many apps require each:

privacy results   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

Tap a permission, and get a list of all apps that require it:

privacy results 03   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

You can now mark one or more apps and quickly remove them.

Game Speeder

game speeder onboard   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

Game Speeder tries to make games faster by killing apps before you launch a game. After a quick explanation slide, it aggregates games on your system to a single launch screen:

game speeder   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

Yes, I’m not much of a gamer, and the games I do play don’t pose a challenge to my Galaxy S III’s capabilities.  When you tap a game, it literally launches it:

game speeder launch   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

While Game Speeder sets your system up to run the game, you get an amusing animation showing the game launching. I like it because of how literal it is – just like the “scanning” animation.

I can tell you that Angry Birds Space didn’t run less well when launched through Game Speeder. I really can’t say it was any better, though. If you’re mainly a Sudoku kind of guy, you’re not going to get much out of this feature – but if you play graphically-intensive games on  a previous-generation device, I’d love to hear if Game Speeder did anything for you in the comments.

Scan Results

I won’t dive deep into Mobile Care’s scanner, because frankly, it’s not all that unique. Here’s the scan results screen:

scan results   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

I find this screen needlessly alarmist; it makes it seem like something’s wrong with the device (all of that scary color, and no less than 156 “junk files”!), when really, things are just peachy:

scan results junk files   Keeping Your Droid Safe And Secure With Advanced Mobile Care 2.0 [Android]

It’s interesting Mobile Care puts Browser History under “Junk Files” and marks it for deletion by default. I understand why it wants to delete gallery thumbnails by default, but browser history? It almost feels like it’s there just to inflate the number of items found (because people like it when their security scanner finds things – they think it means it’s being efficient).

Still, the scan itself doesn’t do any harm, and IObit isn’t known for missing known threats. I just wish it didn’t feel like it was trying hard to find something, anything, just to prove itself worthy.

Final Thoughts

Mobile Care’s strategy is clear: Try to do a lot while staying pretty. Well, the looks work, at least for me. This is an attractive app, and the layout is sensible and consistent. Animations, while pretty, don’t feel gratuitous and actually help communicate what the app is doing in a non-technical way. Some of the tools offered are interesting and valuable (The Privacy Scanner makes permissions very clear), while others feel almost irresponsible (Task Killer). So in that department, Mobile Care is a bit of a mixed bag. Still, if you don’t go crazy with it, it makes for a valuable mobile security tool that’s also fun to use.

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12 Comments -

android underground

Erez, you said “antivirus” in the opening line of your story. So how’s the virus detection rate of this antivirus app and how does it compare to the other antivirus apps you mentioned in the first paragraph? A bit more info on the core business of the topic of your review would be welcome.

Erez Zukerman

You sound like a user who knows what they’re talking about. As such, you probably also know you should never, ever (!) trust any single reviewer who makes predictions/estimations on virus detection rates. To make such a prediction requires a lab full of devices to test and viruses to attack them with, which is something way beyond what I (and most other tech writers) have at our disposal.

When faced with the option of making an unreliable prediction just for the sake of making one, versus avoiding a prediction altogether, the responsible choice would be the latter.

android underground

Instead of making it very clear that you don’t know if the app is good at catching malware because that’s one of the few properties that you did not test, you open with “Keeping your Droid safe and secure” right inside the title! That’s irresponsible if your story appears on a well-known site like MUO, which many tech-illiterate take as authorities on this sort of stuff.

sam amuse

That a very interesting point on which I agree.
It’s important to keep your titles in line with your content on such a website.
This title seems to have been written to convince people to read your article, but I’m disappointed to not read anything serious about security and safety.
Please, be more careful for your next article.

Erez Zukerman

Well, Mobile Care will keep your mobile safe and secure, so I’d say the title is pretty descriptive… What would you title this piece?

android underground

If I would claim the app “keeps your mobile safe and secure” without testing it myself I would have cited a test or two by others.

Maybe AMC keeps your gadgets secure, maybe it doesn’t. With so many crappy security apps floating around I’d put a bit more effort in convincing my readers that this app isn’t one of those.

Patti Hogey

gr8 article ! thx for info I use iobits products & love them. I use Mobile Care but didn t see one pt you made it clear I must read that again

Nevzat Akkaya

One more security app. Time for comparison.

Sean Seebran

Thanks for the info, I really like the “Privacy Advisor” it’s great. In addition to using ” Advanced Mobile Care” I also use “AVG Antivirus Free” which I think to be another great free antivirus app.

So for I have not seen any conflicts between apps, they seem to be playing vary well together. Do you see anything wrong with having both Antivirus Apps installed at the same time?

Erez Zukerman

I think it might be a tad resource hungry. At the moment I’m actually using AVG, but I tend to gravitate between apps. (I was to use Lookout for quite a while.)

Jeffrey Zabala

I’ll take a look into this app, but how do you think it stacks up next to LookOut Mobile?
One thing I didn’t see mentioned that Lookout does offer is the ability to track a lost/stolen device. However, I did like the fact that this will optimize the phone when playing games as I do notice some lag on my One S while playing some games.

Erez Zukerman

It does have mobile tracking, but I think Lookout is still better in this department, due to its Signal Flare feature, that pings the server with your phone’s location when the battery runs low (so you have an approximate fix on its location even if it runs out of power).