AppLock – Protect Your Privacy, The Way You Want

In today’s world, with over use of social media apps & multiple functions served by mobile phones or rather the Smart Phones, everyone needs to protect their privacy & sensitive data from the preying eyes.

For this purpose, we need app lock apps & one such app is aptly named AppLock.  Developed by DoMobile Labs., it’s an app which let’s you protect your phone in a very customized manner.  You can lock apps for a specified period of time on a regular basis or for a particular location.

Let’s start with the app review of this highly downloaded app on Google Play Store with over 500,000,000 downloads.



First Look :

When the app is launched for the first time, it asks you to draw a pattern & confirm it.  Then you have to provide the Security Email ID for password retrieval in case you forget your password.




Once security check is dealt with, you get the glimpse of the Home Screen.  Menu icon in left top corner of app home screen opens the following menu.

AppLock settings can be accessed by tapping settings icon at the top.

Tapping the rest of the area opens Account Center, which shows your app membership details.

AppLock takes you back to app home screen.

Plugins has a few recommendations of apps to use with AppLock or standalone.

Themes shows various themes for the app.

At the bottom are various options to rate, share & promote app.




Another place to access settings & rate, share/promote options is by tapping the 3 dots on the right top corner of the home screen.





Settings :

Here you can set a few options that can enable you to :

  1. Hide AppLock from notification bar.
  2. Alert you when a profile is activated via Time Lock or Location Lock.
  3. Hide images.
  4. Lock newly installed apps .



Now let’s begin with the AppLock, which is divided into 2 tabs :

  1. Privacy
  2. Protect



Privacy :

There are a few options to set up AppLock for :

  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Customized app locking by :
  1. Different Profiles
  2. Time Lock (Show up on tapping More)
  3. Location Lock (Show up on tapping More)

Underneath these options is a complete list of apps installed on your device, categorized into various categories depending upon their utility & functions.

Advanced :

Apps that control basic mobile functionality like calling, app installation/uninstallation or the recent apps.

Switch  Lock :

Locks all toggle switches like Bluetooth, WiFi, Mobile Network & many other such toggles to prevent uninformed on/off by any unauthorised person.

General :

Restricts assess to all installed apps.

Let us now look at the various options respectively.





Photo Vault :

Photos on your device can be locked by moving them to the vault.  Once moved they are unaccessable from any other place on your phone.






Video Vault :

Similar to the photos vault, Video Vault locks your device videos to the vault.





Profiles :

If you want to lock apps in a way that when you want them most, they should remain unlocked or if you want to set some rule to lock apps partially under specific conditions then you can customize it by creating Profiles.

Either lock all the apps or select the apps to lock & name the profile.

Created profiles can be applied from here too.


17Another place to access profiles is the bottom of the AppLock home screen.




More :

Tapping this button opens up 2 options that can customize AppLock highly & enable you to lock apps depending on day & time or your location.





Time Lock :

This option customizes AppLock in such a way that the apps get locked automatically at a specified time by activating the selected profile.  Even customization for specific days can be done.







Location Lock :

AppLock uses your WiFi network to ascertain your location & thus lock your apps.

Near & Away profiles can be set to work within a particular WiFi network & out of it.




Protect :

This tab has 3 options that controls device security in different ways :

  • Security
  • General
  • Magic

Let’s understand them individually.


04Security :

It has 2 options.

Unlock Settings : It lets you select the unlock method –

Pattern : Set any pattern by connecting atleast 4 dots to unlock your device.  You can also activeate/deactivate Pattern Visibility & Vibrate on Touch.

Password : Unlocks device on punching in the 4 digit pass code.  Here in, you can set Password Hint & activate/deactivate Random Keyboard & Vibrate on Touch.




Security Settings :

You have to set Security Q & A for your account alongwith the Security Email ID.  These options come handy in unfortunate cases like when you forget the pass code or any other such unforeseen unwanted situation.




General :

  1. Power Saving Mode – If enabled, helps saving upto 50% power usage.
  2. Advanced Protection – Installs a plugin which prevents anyone from killing/uninstalling the app.
  3. Allow a brief exit – Allows you to reuse a app without re-locking it, for a specified time set here.
  4. Re-lock after Screen On – Re-locks all the apps once the screen is locked, irrespective of time set in brief exit.



Magic :

  1. Hide AppLock – Removes AppLock icon from home screen.  If activated, AppLock can be accessed from browser or by entering password from dialer,
  2. Random Keyboard – Random Keyboard is a innovative idea to let you key in the pass code.  Its like normal keyboard but here the numbers are continuously placed randomly so that if someone gets to know your password by noticing you while punching in the code, they can’t enter the correct code because the numbers get jumbled.
  3. Cover – Adds a fake cover so that unauthorized users get confused & only authorized user can use the apps.

Now, let’s check other options of the Main Menu.



Plugins :

Here some useful apps from DoMobile Labs. are listed, that can be used either individually or in combination with the AppLock.

Tapping any of them takes you to the Google Play page of that app for download & installation.





Themes :

It’s divided into 2 tabs :

Featured – There are various themes for the AppLock Unlock screen, which you can download form Google Play.  Tapping the theme will directly take you to the theme download page.

Installed – Downloaded themes once installed show up on this tab.





In the upper right corner of the themes is the background icon to change the AppLock Unlock screen background, where you can select any image stored on your device.

It let’s you define 2 backgrounds respectively for Portrait mode & Landscape mode.






There is a dial pad icon at the top right corner of the background screen, which lets you change the text color of the numbers of the dial pad.






Forgot Password :

If you forget your pass code then you can retreive it from the unlock screen, anytime.




My Opinion :

After 5 days of usage, I can easily say that it is one of the best app lock available for Android.  No doubt that it is highly downloaded app on the Google Play store.  Being highly customisble it helps a lot in avoiding unauthorized access to the device.

Pros :

  1. Can lock apps according to day & time.
  2. Can lock apps as per your location.
  3. Can confuse unauthorized users by faking Fingerprint Scanning & App Force Close.
  4. Has high level of pass code protection via Random Keyboard.


Cons :

Repetitive options…

  1. Multiple options to access profiles, settings & share/rate.
  2. Profiles & More buttons can make way for Time Lock & Location Lock.

Known Issues :

It works very smoothly on Stock Android ROM but when its used on Custom ROM’s like MIUI, it may not work at all because the Display Pop Up Window permission is denied by default.

To use it on custom ROM’s follow the following steps :

Go to Settings -> Installed Apps -> All -> AppLock -> Permission Manager & give permission to Display Pop Up Window

Download Link : Google Play


Prisma – Unleash The Artist In You


After a long wait, finally Prisma was lauched & released for Android devices on 24 July 2016. Here is my review of the app with all options explained in detail.



Home Screen :

When you open the app, you find the screen divided in 2 parts :

  1. Top half screen as Camera View Finder to click an image to start working on it.
  2. Bottom half has all Options related to the working of the Prisma app.




Prisma Options :

  1. Flash – Flash button is a multi toggle button which when presed repeatedly turns Flash to Auto, Permanently On & Permanently Off option.
  2. Rotate Camera – To switch between Front & Rear camera.
  3. Settings – For various app settings.
  4. Shutter Button – To click the image for converting it to awesome art work.
  5. Gallery – For converting your lovely pictures stored on your device into professional looking art work.




Settings :

Settings menu is a very simple one, with no complex options. Just a couple of options related to saving of images, artwork or adding watermark to the creations.






Gallery :

If you want to use pre clicked images stored on your device, this option lets you browse the stored image from different apps.






Editing :

Once you have selected the image, app moves forward for editing :

  1. Grid lines help in easily managing the image alignment.
  2. If you want to change the image then press the X.
  3. Rotate option lets you rotate image as per your requirement.
  4. You can pinch in & out for zooming in or out the image.

Tapping on Next takes you forward to the next step.



Filters :

There are over 29 unique filters at your disposal. You can use any of them as per your liking or as per the image. All filters may not suit the image being used so its a part where you have to hit & try as to what looks good.



Once you have selected & applied the desired filter the screen will look like this adjoining pic.

Once the filter is applied you can control how much effect you want to give to the image. Here is a sample of how it looks like when you apply the filter at 0%, 25% & 100%.






Image Saving & Sharing :

Between the image viewer & scrolling filters list, are various options that enable you to save & share the edited image.

  1. Download – Downloads the image to your device.
  2. Facebook – Directly share the images with your friends on Facebook.
  3. Share – Enables you to share image on various social connectivity apps like Whatsapp, Telegram etc. or to save it to cloud storage like Drop Box, Google Photos etc.


My Opinion :

I used Prisma for 1 whole day. Its an superb app which can give realistic artistic touch to your pictures. If you can have patience for its upcoming updates – to fix minor glitches/bugs the app has, then it may prove to be a great app for you.

Pros :

  1. At just 7 MB its one of the lightest & most productive app related to high level image editing.
  2. Easy to use app with no complex options/settings.
  3. With over 29 filters gives wider scope for experimentation.
  4. Gives professional level artistic touch to the images.

Cons :

  1. As its just 1 day old, there are a few random glitches experienced by different users.
  2. With over 29 filters user has to hit & try a lot before getting the desired result.
  3. Image size should be as per the viewer size, as bigger images can’t be zoomed in to reduce their size & gets cut from edges.

Known Issues :




Editing screen doesn’t shows the selected image for editing. Instead it shows black screen with PRISMA written on it.







Due to slow server response, sometimes there is delay in image display on the filters screen. It shows black screen with PRISMA written on it.






Server doesn’t responds sometimes leading to an failed attempt in applying the filter.

Custom ROM VR 11.0 – Android L Experience for Xiaomi Redmi Note 3G

A few days ago I came across a custom ROM for Xiaomi Redmi Note 3G (WCDMA) which is a bug free ROM providing Android Lollipop experience.  Here is my review of the ROM.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3G (WCDMA) is a beast of a device with MIUI 5 ROM (based on Jelly Bean) pre-installed, powered by MediaTek MTK6592 Octa Core Processor with 2 GB RAM, 8 GB Flash storage, 5.5 inch HD display & many more high end specs.

VR 11.0 is a KitKat 4.4.2 based Custom ROM to give Android Lollipop experience on Xiaomi Redmi Note 3G (WCDMA).  It has a Cool Boot Animation, Decent Battery Backup, Pleasant Appearance, Smooth Operations & Stunning Sound Quality.

VR 11.0 Boot Animation



Cool Boot Animation :

A Cool Boot Animation with moving dots that reminds of former Windows logo formation.




Battery & SOT



Decent Battery Backup :

A full charge lasts a decent 24 hours (approx.) with 8 hours of Screen On Time which is a fair performance by the standards of today’s Smart Phone Battery Backups.



Lock Screen & Home Screen



Pleasant Appearance :

It has stunning high quality Material Design Lock Screen & Home Screen Wall Papers based on Android L material design.




Google Camera



Google Camera :

Google Camera App enhances camera experience with Photo Sphere, Panorama, Lens Blur & HDR.




Nova Launcher



Nova Launcher :

This ROM uses Nova Launcher which helps user in detailed & minute customisation of device display, animations, styling etc. like :

  • Desktop Grid for Icons (upto 12X12),
  • Icon Size, Style & Layout,
  • Home Screen Indicator Style & Color,
  • App & Widget Drawer,
  • Docking,
  • Folder Styling,
  • Gesture & Input,
  • Unread Counter (Optional feature needs additional app to be installed), &
  • Backup & Import.



Other important & useful Apps pre-included in the ROM are as under :


Super Su & Root Explorer


Xposed Framework & XLED


Audio FX, MX Player & TuneIn Radio (Apart from FM)


LockScreen Lollipop, Material Weather Widget, Heads Up & Flat Style Colored Bars

I used this ROM for 4 continuous days & it worked smoothly without any bugs.  My overall experience with this ROM has been satisfactory but hardcore MIUI fans like me are going to miss following awesome features :

Security (Anti Virus, Cleaner, Permission Manager etc.),
QR Scanner,
Call Recorder,
Call/SMS Blocker,
Private Messages &
many other features which are added to MIUI regularly.

SwiftKey – A Keyboard That LEARNS From YOU – Part 02

SwiftKey Logo

In the Part 1 of this article you were detailed about Settings, Multiple Device Syncing, Language Selection, Layout, Input Methods etc. So now lets move ahead…


Auto Text Correction options are placed under Advanced Tab. Herein, you can ease your editing work by checking the check boxes corresponding to the options.

Spacebar Completion :
While typing you can select what spacebar will do… Whether it will Insert Space or complete the Current Word you are typing or the Word being Predicted.

Quick Period :
Double space will insert Period or Full Stop to terminate the on-going sentence.

Auto Capitalize :
It will automatically Capitalise the First Character of the sentence. This may prove to be a bit of problem when using period after an abbreviation as SwiftKey considers it as end of a sentence & the beginning of another.

You can also define Long Press duration to set the duration of press to activate certain functions.

Clear Data :
If you want the app to re-learn from scratch then you can clear all personal language data you saved.

Notifications :
App sends alerts regarding your achievements while using the keypad like how much efforts you saved to key in words, etc.

Settings Toggle


Long pressing the keypad switching key (used to toggle between numeric & alphabetic keyboard) this window pops out where you can access SwiftKey Settings & Themes.

You can even Dock/Undock & Resize the keypad according to your ease of operation.

3 Preset Keyboard Layouts are also available for your use.


Usage Stats



Usage Statistics page provides info regarding your Efficiency in using this app to its full capabilities, Key Strokes you saved by using Flow technique, Typos corrected by the app, Words typed & the Distance your finger travelled while using Flow & the words Predicted & Completed by SwiftKey.





Support page comes to your rescue when you face any problem related to usage of the app or have any doubts regarding any feature, you can always get an answer to your queries by accessing Video’s & FAQ’s.

Forward Suggestions for app improvement or Bugs you encountered to the Devs here.





Info regarding the Version you are running is available on About SwiftKey page as its version varies from device to device & OS to OS. You can also follow SwiftKey on Facebook & Twitter to get all the latest news about the app.





This ends the review of an awesome feature rich keyboard app SwiftKey which is a perfect solution to all user problems related with texting & message composing on hand held touch screen devices.

Until then hope you all find this work of mine useful & if anyone out there has any suggestions/queries related to my article, you all are welcome to leave comments underneath.

SwiftKey – A Keyboard That LEARNS From YOU – Part 01

SwiftKey Logo

We all use different Mobile devices with different input keyboard apps but we all face certain problems like :

1) Typos changing the word intended to be written at the last moment which sometimes causes a lot of confusion & embarrassment.
2) Even if we write repeated words/sentences we have to type them full (the only help is predictive text but it also is not of much help).

We all wish for an app which could free us from all this botheration & enable us to quickly type on our Touch Screen devices. So the solution for this is here…

SwiftKey – The Keyboard That LEARNS From YOU

SwiftKey is a unique mobile input keyboard that is fastly getting its fan following for being The Keyboard That LEARNS From YOU as it uses a blend of artificial intelligence technologies that enable it to predict the next word the user intends to type.

SwiftKey was first released on July 14,2010 for the Android devices with support for 7 languages along with a variety of settings to adjust audio feedback volume & length of haptic feedback vibration whereas today it supports over 80 languages with a bouquet of customisation options.

Let’s start with the way this Learning Keyboard works…


Here is the Settings page of SwiftKey where you can Customise it to learn & work as per your desire, set Language preferences, choose Themes to dress your Keyboard, determine how the keyboard Appears, define Feedback methods & their intensity, choose Input Method as per your convenience, define Auto Text Correction methods, etc.

It also records your Usage Statistics so that you can know how much you have been able to teach this Learning Keyboard & how much benefits has the app provided to ease your message composing.

Let’s check all the options to know about the Learning Keyboard in depth…


Account :
While installing & registering the app, you are asked to provide your email id – which works as your Account ID.

Devices :
If you use multiple devices, you have the privilege of using SwiftKey on all of them using your unique Account ID. This way your texting experience on all devices remains same as the app sync’s them all at user pre-defined intervals.

Backup & Sync :
While composing messages whatever words you save in the dictionary, backup of all is taken as per the frequency set by you & synchronised among all your devices.

Personalisation :
This is the Class Room of SwiftKey. Once you authorise the app, it fetches your message composing style/pattern/info & related details from all your accounts like Message Box, Yahoo, Gmail, Google +, Facebook,Twitter, Evernote & RSS Feed.



SwiftKey allows you to select upto 3 Working Languages at a time from a bouquet of over 80 languages it supports.

To switch between the Language’s, just Long Press the Spacebar & a Window pops up with your pre-selected languages. Switch to the language of your choice & enjoy the ease of message composing in different languages in a flash.



Theme & Layout

Theme :
It enables you to choose keypad design & look as per your choice by applying Theme’s – to dress your keyboard in accordance to the colours of your device Theme or your mood.

Arrow Keys :
You can have 4 arrow keys below the keyboard for easy navigation to check your message while composing/editing.

Accented Characters :
Accented Characters enables you to use some unique special looking characters by long pressing that particular alphabet.

Numeric Pad:
You can have the numeric keypad to left or right as per your preference for easy single handed operation.




This option defines Feedback methods & their intensity. You can specify how you want the keyboard to respond to your touch – by Sound or by Vibration along with their intensity level of response.



You can select your input options according to the convenience you want… whether type each letter individually or a complete word at once as well as whether to key in manually or give Voice commands.

Input Methods

Type Each Letter :
If you deselect all the options then you have to type each letter individually, similar to all normal keyboards.

Flow :
If you want to write a complete word in one go then tap the first letter & slide your finger over the remaining letters of that word. For eg. to write BUT, tap B & slide your finger over U & T.

Voice :
If you want to rest your finger’s then enable this option & give dictation to scribble down what you want.


This brings us to the end of Part 1 of the article. In the next part, we bring in more details about SwiftKey – Advanced Settings, Support etc. So STAY TUNED…

Until then hope you all find this work of mine useful & if anyone out there has any suggestions/queries related to my article, you all are welcome to leave comments underneath.