When it comes to security, Android has frequently drawn criticism not only from the market experts, but also from its users. Its security features are often compared to that of iPhone, which has let it known time and time again that it takes the privacy and security of its users very seriously. Lacking faith in Android’s built-in security features, users turn to third-party solutions like lockers to keep their private data from falling into the wrong hands. So far, this seems to be working really well for them.
What is an App Locker?
App lockers are apps that are specially designed to lock different apps in order to prevent unsolicited access to personal data on mobile device. These apps are also commonly used by users to increase the security of their smartphones. Most of these apps are available free of cost, though some need to be purchased. App lockers use password, pin, pattern or gestures to lock different apps like SMS, Contacts, Gallery, Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Emails, etc.
Why App Locking Tools for Android are in Demand
App lockers are popular among Android users due to the following benefits:
- Keeps the device safe from spying and snooping
- Makes sure kids do not access or download inappropriate apps
- Protect confidential information
- Allows user to give smartphone to friends without worrying about privacy
What to Expect from a Great App Locker
There are a large number of app lockers available on Google Play Store and other app stores, but not all of them are worth using. So how does one differentiate between a good app locker and a bad one? It’s really simple. An app locker offering most, if not all, of the following features qualifies as a good option.
Lock SMS and Contacts
Nobody is comfortable with others going through their SMS or contact list as it’s something really private. App lockers offer a peace of mind by blocking access to them.
People, especially kids, can often grab the phone and make or attend calls even though they are not allowed to do so. App lockers can also restrict access to the Call app.
App lockers can block access to gallery, thus guarding the private pictures and videos of users.
Multiple Lock Options
Some app lockers allow users to secure device and data by offering multiple lock options such as password, pin, gesture, or a pattern.
A user-friendly interface is particularly important for users who are not very tech-savvy. A simple interface makes the app locker more accessible.
There are various versions of Android available in the market. Therefore, it is important to check the compatibility of an app locker before investing in one.
Some app lockers come with uninstallation prevention so that kids or snoops can’t remove them from the device to gain access to protected data.
Locks Play Store
One of the added benefits of the app locker is its ability to lock Google Play Store and other app stores.
Over to Our Testing Lab
We decided to check out five of the most popular app lockers for Android and see how well they rank in terms of features, compatibility, and reliability. Here is what we discovered.
AppLock offers device and data protection by allowing users to lock SMS, Settings, Gmail, Facebook, Gallery, Contacts and much more. It lets users set a password or pattern to lock the app. It also allows users to lock Google Play Store, thus preventing kids from downloading games or any inappropriate apps on the device. AppLock has a friendly user interface that allows users to lock and unlock any app with complete ease. It also supports profiles in case one Android device has multiple users, each requiring a different level of restrictions and privileges. Its basic locking features are available free of cost, but the full version costs a small sum.
Smart AppLock not only locks different apps like SMS, Contacts, Gallery, etc., but also block Settings, Wi-Fi, and Google Play Store. In addition, it identifies and takes images of whoever tries to access locked apps. Users may set different passwords for different apps. It also allows users to create different profiles for friends and family. It also has an additional feature that allows users to set the time for activating the lock on the given apps. The app icon can be hidden from the launcher.
Apps Lock & Gallery Hider
It is yet another great app that not only locks system apps, but also downloaded apps. Its icon can be hidden from the main menu so that no one knows that an app locker is currently installed and active on the device. It cannot easily be uninstalled or deleted by snoops and intruders. It offers pin and pattern lock both at the same time in order to provide an extra bit of protection. Its drive sensor allows users to open locked apps without the need to enter the password while driving. It displays a reminder to set a password every time users download a new app by generating alerts for newly installed apps. It has a simple design which makes it easy to use.
App Locker- Lock Any App
App Locker can lock pretty much all popular apps, including WhatsApp, Contacts, Facebook, Twitter, Gallery, Skype, Snapchat, emails, SMS, Call, etc. There is no limit on the number of apps that can be locked through this nifty tool. It also has an offline password recovery system, a feature that is rarely found in other app lockers. Furthermore, unlike most app lockers, it does not consume battery. Unfortunately, it does not offer multiple passwords option, which mean users have to set a single password for locking all their apps.
AppLock 2 (Smart App Protect)
As the name implies, it works smartly when it comes to blocking apps like SMS, MMS, contacts, Gallery, Twitter, Facebook, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Settings, Google Play Store, and much more. It allows users to lock apps using multiple locking options like patterns, pin, password, etc. It even supports fingerprint unlocking on Android-powered Samsung phones with fingerprint scanner. Moreover, it does not consume battery, which is a plus point. This app locker immediately takes a photo when someone tries to get access to any app by entering the wrong password. Users can set the delay time to avoid entering the password again and again while using the app.