Keep Prying Eyes Off Your Personal Data With App Protector Pro [Android]

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personal data android appsRaise your hand if the following awkward scenario ever happened to you. You’re sitting somewhere fiddling with your phone, when suddenly someone gets all excited. “Hey, is that the new [insert model here]? Can I see it?!” If this is a stranger, they’re obviously crazy. But if this is someone you know (family or friends), it would be strange not to hand over the phone. Then again, they might stumble onto something they’re really not supposed to see. Or perhaps you have a new person in your life that is just a bit too curious – that happens, too. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you may want to check out App Protector Pro.

This handy little app lets you protect any application on your Android device with either a pattern or a text password. You can protect multiple applications, and best of all, you can switch protection on and off very quickly. This is brilliant, because your device is not locked: The other person can play with it, run games, test out applications and to whatever they want, as long as they don’t try to launch a “sensitive” application. When they do, they get a password prompt. So, if they won’t try to read your email (for example), they won’t even realize the device is protected.

App Protector Pro isn’t free – it costs around $2 on the Market, but it is so good we decided to include it in our Best of Android page.

Configuration

personal data android apps

When you launch App Protector Pro, it asks for your pattern or password (you get to configure this on the first launch of the app). The pattern looks just like the Android unlock pattern – you draw it on a grid of nine dots. This doesn’t have to be the same pattern you use to unlock your device, though (and you don’t need a device unlock pattern to use App Protector Pro).

Once in App Protector, you can see the list of applications that are currently protected:

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personal data android

As you can see, I opted to protect privacy-sensitive applications (Gmail, Messaging), as well as critical system apps (Settings, Titanium Backup, Market). I included my alarm clock (Gentle Alarm) just because it would be no fun to realize someone messed with my alarm settings “by mistake” (or not). Better safe than sorry, especially when talking about waking up at 4am because someone thought it might be funny (not that this ever happened to me).

Adding applications to the protection list is easy; just hit the Modify Protection List button to pop up this screen:

personal data android

The checkbox next to each app means you can just go through the list once, check all of the apps you want to protect, and hit Done.

Protection Options

The Protection Options screen is where you set a password or pattern lock, re-locking options, and more.

personal data android

It also lets you choose between two different locking modes:

personal data android phone

If you enter the password or pattern to unlock an application, should that make all other applications accessible, too? There’s no “right” answer for this question, which is why you get to decide. There is just a bit of Engrish in the dialog:

personal data android phone

But even if you don’t “Be Caution”, this is still an awesome app. Last but not least, let’s look at my favorite part of the app, its tiny widget.

Widget

personal data android phone

Look, my Polar Bear has a widget! Right now, all apps on my phone work as usual, and launch normally – protection is disabled. Now let’s say someone comes along and asks to look at the phone; no problem – all it takes is a single tap of the lock:

personal data android apps

That’s it! All of my sensitive applications will now require a password or a pattern to launch. Needless to say, disabling the widget also requires a password or pattern.

Final Thoughts

What do you think of App Protector Pro? I know there are many clones on the Market, but I don’t know of a better app protector. Do you? If so, what makes it better?

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Comments (9)
  • Lovecar

    Great tips! I share another app called VeryAndroid File Protector. It is a powerful tool for android and computer users to password protect files/folders on android phones or computer. Good luck.

  • carrotapp

    Thanks for this great article! 

  • Oli

    Seal also does application specific protection, except it’s really handy if you need location based locking, as it has plugins for Locale and Tasker so that it can lock applications based on your location

  • Josh

    Applocker II, is far better than this….

  • Bugmenot

    ZDbox can do that and more, and it’s free.

    • Erez Zukerman

      IMHO, ZDbox tries to do a bit too much. Isn’t it seriously bloated? 

Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.