How to Prevent Unauthorized Access to Your Apps With Seal [Android]

A smartphone allows you to carry all your apps and data wherever you go, but it can be disastrous if you lost your phone. Not only do you lost a valuable hardware (the phone), you also lost all your data. Worst still, you never know who will get hold of your data and what he/she will do to it. Seal is an application for Android that protects your apps and prevent unauthorized access from others.

When it comes to app locking applications for Android, there are plenty of players. We have previously covered two of our favourites – App Locker and ZDBox. What makes Seal different from the rest is that it comes with a “situation” features to quickly protect/unprotect groups of applications. In addition, its ability to integrate with other apps like Tasker and Locale also make it a useful app.

When you first run Seal, it will guide you through a simple setup wizard.

seal-setup

The first step is of course setting up your main password. You can choose to use a password or a set pattern. You will also need to set up a security question (and answer) so you can recover your password (or pattern) when you forget about it.

seal-password

If you have rooted your phone, in the next screen, you will see the following:

seal-root-method

It seems that Seal is able to protect you further if you have rooted your phone. One thing that got me suspicious is that it didn’t state what sort of “extra protection” it offers for rooted phone. It can be a dangerous thing to grant root access to an app with unknown intention since you have completely no idea what it is going to do to your phone. One thing that it seems to do is to put a firewall in place to prevent any unauthorized outgoing link. The reason I know it is because I cannot send email using the Gmail app anymore. For the above reason, I would advise you to keep to the “generic method”, regardless whether your phone is rooted or not.

The next step is to select the applications you want to protect. The list of applications that appear on the screen is the one that Seal thinks you should protect. You can also add new applications to the protect list. You have to tap on the right circle beside the application to add it to the protect list. A protected app will have a green circle beside it.

seal-protected-apps

In the next tab is the Situation feature. This is also the best feature of Seal. In Situation, you can configure several situations such as Home, Work, Meeting etc and assign specific apps to them. With a quick flick, you can enable/disable the protection of these apps instantly.

seal-situations

As an app-locking app, Seal has done well. The Situation feature makes it very easy to enable/disable the protection of group of applications, though I suspect not many people will be actively using this feature. One feature that I hope it can implement is the “Unlock one unlocks all” feature. Assuming you have protected all your applications in the phone, unlocking one app should automatically unlock all other apps (at least until you next turn off the screen) so you don’t have to enter the password every time you switch to the other app.

What do you think? Is Seal good enough to protect your phone?

Seal is available for $2.99 in the Android market and it is free to download in GetJar Gold.