Secret Lock: Keep It On The DL. An app to hide Pictures, Videos, Text Messages & Android Apps
Apr 25, 2012 11:33 AM –
Secret Lock: Keep It On The DL is a security app for hiding videos, texts, SMS messages and, if you have a rooted device, apps. We have reviewed apps similar to this before, most notably Vaulty, but with different types of security and the ability to hide apps and SMS messages, Secret Lock is perhaps a small step ahead.
Tested on: HTC One X
Pros & Cons:
- Securely hides: videos, pictures, SMS messages and apps!
- Easy to use!
- Mostly fast and responsive!
- Secure by pattern or pin number!
- Additional security question feature!
- Image gallery is a little skewed and can take a while to load.
- Can’t share to the app like you can with Vaulty.
Secret Lock: Keep It On The DL is a smart little app for hiding personal videos, pictures, messages and apps. Therefore, if you’ve got stuff on your device you might not want to share, this is a neat little app for keeping things private.
To begin with you need to create some security. You can choose to either set an unlock pattern (much like with most Android devices) or a pin number. Once set the app will also ask you a security question; first pet, mother’s maiden name, etc. With these in place you then get a menu which includes: Hide Photos, Hide Videos, Hide Text and Hide Apps. While these take you directly to a specific section, others can be easily explored by the tabs at the top of the screen. The ‘+’ sign at the bottom of the screen will let you choose from content on your device. If you are in the video section this will bring up all the videos on your phone, if you’re in photos it will present all your photos and so on. You then simply select from the grid of pictures/videos/texts/apps and these are automatically ‘locked’. Then pressing ‘Done’ at the bottom of the screen completes the process.
I really like the app and think it has a lot of potential. The design tries to make you feel all the more secure by making it look as if you’re in some kind of vault, and everything is more-or-less responsive and quick. I noted that, when you go to add pictures, it takes a while for the gallery to load the first time, and these images are squashed a little for viewing. Once ‘Locked’ and secure, you get a little image viewer which, to be fair, isn’t great. Sometimes pictures aren’t displayed at all, and other times they are squashed or stretched.
I think the thing the developers should look at is the means to add content to the app. Currently you have to be in the app itself, then it opens up your gallery or messages and you select which you want to be secured. This works fine, but it’s perhaps not as intuitive as apps such as Vaulty, that come up as a sharing option elsewhere. So, if you’re in your gallery app and want to hide a picture, you should just be able to click on it to share, then share to Secret Lock.
These issues aside, the app does a sterling job of keeping your content secure and private. The app does this weird thing where it gives a random splash screen of something other than a hiding app, such as ‘Weather’ and ‘Stocks’ when you first open the app. I can see why this is done, but I don’t think it’s going to convince anyone. To make the app truly anonymous, why not have an ambiguous app drawer icon instead? I found myself comparing Secret Lock to Vaulty throughout the review, and can genuinely see the benefits of each. If Secret Lock could add some basic features; such as the sharing option laid out above, and maybe didn’t skew pictures, it could be the outright winner.
Secret Lock – Pattern
Secret Lock – Loading gallery for selection
Secret Lock – Hidden photos
Secret Lock – Choose from photos, videos, texts and apps
Secret Lock – Secure by either pattern or pin number
Secret Lock – Secondary security question
Secret Lock – Root access required for hiding apps
Especially useful for keeping content private. Secret Lock lets you control who sees pictures, messages, videos and apps. I think it could be improved upon, but it’s a great start and I’m sure will only improve with future updates.
Ease of Use:
The app, in the way it lets you add content to itself, seems pretty intuitive and straightforward. However, after using apps like Vaulty, which lets you share to it, as you would share to social networks, I think that Secret Lock’s method isn’t as user-friendly. It would surely be better to offer both options.
Within in the app, navigation is pretty good. It’s a shame that some images do not always appear and this could obviously be a deal-breaker for some users, but its still straightforward and easy to use.
This surely depends on the user and the volume of content s/he has to hide, and of course how often they want to access it.
The interface isn’t particularly polished, a kind of lock-and-key thematic which looks good but isn’t particularly sharp. Still, it really isn’t for the UI that you download an app like this.