There are various reasons why it would be very reasonable for you to want to hide an application or some other form of data on your device. While I’m not going to condone living a secret life away from your family, you may find some of the hidden treasures of the Google Play Store quite useful. Of course, you may have a very reasonable explanation for wanting an application that will hide information on your phone, such as wanting to store sensitive information such as passwords, addresses, photos, etc. I won’t be the judge!
Regardless, the following apps will do the trick. Check out my list of the best privacy apps for Android after the break. I can’t cover them all, so let us know of your favorites in the comments section below.
1. Privacy Manager (LITE and Premium):
Privacy Manager is your basic, well… privacy manager. It has the ability to keep your pictures, apps and contacts private, as well as some extras. The app can block specific phone numbers, disguise calls/SMS messages, or even ring your phone with a fake call if you even need to be interrupted in one of those “get-me-out-of-here” situations. It also includes a password manager so you won’t be left with an unsecure notepad application storing a list of your passwords to your important accounts. The app’s navigability is excellent, as it makes it simple for you to see exactly what you’re looking at, and easy to find what you’re looking for. Features are organized under sub-headings on the main screen so you won’t be scrolling through endless menu pages looking for the exact setting you need to find. The number of functions that this app can handle make it very appealing to any user, and you can grab the LITE version from the Play Store right now for free! However, the free version only lets you lock up to 10 images at once, and only one contact for disguising texts/calls. The limitations are minimal, so you can probably get by with just the free version instead of paying $4.99 for the full version. Buy hey, if you like the app that much, I’m all for supporting the developer for a job well done.
This app is sure to make your phone “guest-proof.” That means your kids, friends, parents, etc. won’t be able to snoop around on your device while they’re using it to play games or check out photos of your recent family vacation. You are essentially given the ability to shut down all specific functionalities of your device whenever you want, including a basic pattern/PIN lock, a quick-lock widget, ability to lock on incoming/outgoing calls, lock system settings, lock the Google Play Store, a quick lock switcher on the status bar, a re-lock policy (allow short exit, no need to unlock again), and prevent apps from being uninstalled. You can also hide AppLock’s icon from the launcher and prevent it from being uninstalled/killed by task killers. The developers also promise a small memory footprint and that it won’t drain your battery either. I think of this app more of an “administrative assistant” which will make sure all the features of your phone are locked down when someone else is using your device. It’s definitely a great app to have on your phone, especially since it has no price tag!
If you like the features of AppLock but you want a more lightweight application, Applock Master might be the solution for you. Instead of completely shutting down entire functions of your phone for access, in Applock Master, you can only shut down individual apps. The program makes it simple to just lock any application in just one tap, and setting a password/pattern/PIN to easily unlock it when you want to. You can also set a time limit for how often it re-locks an app, so if you leave one temporarily, you won’t be forced to keep re-entering the password. We all know how obnoxious that can get sometimes. If you somehow forget your password, you can retrieve your credentials by using a security password, which is always a nice feature to include. Applock Master says that it does not monitor apps so that if a user terminates one from Settings, it can be restarted with the lock— their reasoning is that it is not only intrusive, but also drains battery life. This kind of honestly certainly made me like the app even more. Head over to the Play Store to download it now if you want a very lightweight and useful app to lock down your applications.
I’d consider Privacy Master to be somewhere in between Applock Master and AppLock in terms of features. Privacy Master includes a homescreen widget so you can quickly lock your pre-selected apps with one touch, voice alerts, the option to block the install/uninstall of apps, block settings changes, the option to auto run on reboot, the option to block USB (I really like that one), and block task manager. You can also set a security question in case you forget your password/pattern/PIN, mark specific apps to be protected, and more. The UI is a bit sloppier than the apps previously mentioned, but it still does a great job in doing what it advertises, which is of course the most important part in developing an app.
This one is the most lightweight application on my list, as it only has the option to lock specific apps, and unlock them using a predetermined password/pattern/PIN. The UI is pretty solid and it runs smoothly on my device, and it is certainly a handy little app to have running at all times (if you want it to) with minimal battery drainage and memory footprint. I’d recommend this to anyone that doesn’t necessarily require a heavy-duty privacy manager on their device, but still wants a sense of security.
Hide It Pro is definitely on the “sneakier” side of the spectrum when it comes to the apps listed here, as it has all of the necessary features one would ever need to hide anything on their device, and not let anyone know that anything is being hidden. The app is cleverly disguised as a fully-functional audio manager, and lets you categorize your media into folders of your choosing. Hide It Pro offers a “media suite” with all of your hidden content, so you won’t have to keep “un-hiding” it when you want to view it. It’s almost as if the app has a storage box of all of your hidden information that you have to access in order to look at your information. The app has a built-in encryption tool as well, and offers plugins for features like private messaging, calls, private browsing, locking apps, etc. Definitely grab this app if you have something to hide and don’t want anyone knowing it.