Storing photos on an iPhone does leave you open to the problem of having them viewed by anyone who picks up the phone. Aside from normal iPhone passcode lock visitors can access your photo camera roll and shared photos with ease. Photo Guard is a free app that enables you to protect your photos on iPhone by storing them in a passcode-protected app library where only someone who knows the code can gain access.
When you launch the app you are required to set a passcode to protect your photos from unwanted viewers. This is not just a standard digi-pad passcode though. This passcode requires you to set a pattern by moving your finger between points on a grid. You can have a standard numerical passcode however this version really does add innovation to the app. The only drawback with this is that if you forget your passcode pattern then your photos are lost. Forever with no recovery.
Still another great feature of this passcode protection is the hidden aspect that everytime someone incorrectly enters the passcode the iPhone camera takes a picture of them so you can see who has been trying to access your private photos. The phrase goes: “Busted.”
Once you are in the app it is simple to navigate around. It takes a little time to figure out how to import your photos from your iTunes photo library and camera roll but once that is done then you can set about removing them from the main device library and make them inaccessible by anyone but you. This also means that your photos are only stored in one place which makes them much more manageable. However it does put your photos reliant on an app and it is really a hassle to have to go and delete photos in the iTunes library once you have copied them. An improvement to this app would be the ability to simply lock photo albums in the iTunes library.
Like a majority of photos apps it is also possible to share photos from your Photo Guard albums to iTunes, Facebook and Twitter. An in-app camera to take photos is included but it only supports the rear camera on the iPhone and has none of the filtering features available in native iPhone and other camera apps.
- Excellent passcode lock system
- Takes mugshot of snoopers
- Simple app organisation
- Store all photos in one location
- Complicated process to add photos and then remove from device photo library
- In-app camera only forward facing
- No photo recovery if you forget the passcode pattern
While the theory behind this app is fantastic and the security measures implemented to protect your photos are impressive the developers have failed to capitalise on a great idea. The flaws in losing photos forever with no backup if you forget your passcode and the hassle of transferring photos between iTunes and the Photo Guard library. For protecting the privacy of a few photos then this is a good app but a poor in-app camera adds another reason for maybe declining to add this app to your iPhone library.