AppLock+ offers a unique spin on mobile device security. Instead of being relegated to a one time pin unlock to access your device, AppLock+ offers you the ability lock and require a pin code for any and every app on your device.
Cost: Free (further features unlockable via in-app purchase)
- Beautiful, simple, and effective user interface
- Unique take on mobile security
At this point in time, most of us are pretty used to the standard unlock features for our mobile devices; we either swipe to unlock, hold to unlock, or, for extra security, we enter a pin number. There’s nothing wrong with this setup in and of itself, but some people just need a little more security for their devices. Enter AppLock+.
AppLock+ is unlike any security application I’ve ever seen. What makes it unique is that it offers you the ability to lock down individual apps and features on you device with and require a pin number to access them. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. You can further customize these locks by scheduling a specific app, or group of apps, to lock and unlock on specific days and times of the week, and you can even configure apps to lock based upon your geographic location.
This also brings me to the next feature I really like about AppLock+: grouping. Some of us have tons and tons of apps on our phones and the idea of going through each of them individually and configuring a lock for them can seem daunting and troublesome. AppLock+ has you covered by offering app grouping. You can lock down apps in groups based on their function. For example, your social media apps will be grouped together under AppLock’s Group tab, and you can configure lock options for all of them in bulk versus configuring locks for each of them individually. If you decide that you want specific lock configurations for any of these apps, however, you still have the ability to configure them individually.
Group locking in AppLock+ is not perfect. The default groups AppLock creates for you are pretty effective. You can also create and customize your own groups, but the default ones AppLock creates will suffice for most users. Unfortunately, you really start running into problems when you want to configure lock settings for an individual app that happens to be nested in a group.
Using social media apps as an example once again: if I want to configure a lock for, say, Google + by itself, I have to go into the Groups tab, select ‘Social media apps’ and then swipe the Google + entry to the left to delete it from the group. I then have to go back to the Apps tab and find Google +, select it, and then I can configure the lock options for it individually. This does not take that much time to do in the scheme of things, but it’s inconvenient and I would love to be able to just go to the Apps tab and configure the apps individually without having to mess with the app’s group if it happens to be in one.
On the settings front, AppLock+ is pretty simple. The Settings menu consists of six items:
- Change Pin
- Change Recovery Password
- Device Administrator – AppLock+ needs this permission to allow you to lock down individual apps
- Unlock Duration
- Lock apps when screen is off
My favorite setting in AppLock is the ability to set an unlock duration. I had mine set at five minutes. Essentially what this feature does, is it will not require you to enter your pin code for a recently used app, after closing it, for a designated amount of time; in my case, five minutes. This can be quite convenient and help eliminate potential frustration by having to enter your pin every time you re-open an app that you were using just recently. This is great for multi-tasking on your device.
AppLock+ is beautiful. I bragged about it’s UI to a fellow AndroidGuy’s writer not long after installing it on my phone. I like that there’s not a lot of menus and sub menus to navigate. The white color scheme works really well. It almost has sort of a futuristic lab feel. In my opinion, AppLock+ defines what I would call minimalistic effectiveness, in that it offers a very basic and simple UI that still captures the power and features you would find in a complex and convoluted UI. I applaud AVIRA for accomplishing this.
As much as I dislike in-app purchases, AppLock+ is very reasonable about them. The app will be effective and adequate for most users without requiring them to spend a dime. You can, however, unlock the geo-lock and schedule lock features individually, or as a bundle. The bundle unlock was $2.21 at the time of this review.
I am very impressed with AppLock+. It’s a great solution if you’re looking for a little extra security for you device. AVIRA definitely needs to make the above suggested changes to the app’s grouping feature, and I would also like to see them make the numbers on the pin screen bigger and with more space in between them. I found myself mistyping my pin if I was entering it very quickly. Despite these issues, AppLock+ is a great app and is definitely worthy of your consideration.