A picture is worth a thousand words and while that’s probably gotten old and more worn every time you’ve read it, it’s still true. To be perfectly honest, if it’s a picture of a sunset or some other landscape it is worth a thousand words but if it’s a picture of someone caught red handed in the act of thievery, it’s worth more than a thousand words and at least on triumphant grin. iLock – Anti-theft Lockscreen is an Android app that adds its own PIN lock to your screen and if anyone enters it incorrectly, it snaps a picture from the front facing camera. The app also has you enter a codeword which, when sent to the device over SMS, can activate the app as well as give you the device’s current location.
The app has five simple steps that you need to complete to set the app up. You must first ensure that the lockscreen is set to the swipe or slide lock and geo tracking is enabled. Select an alarm and set up the PIN and codeword. Make sure you enable the USB alarm, the GPS locator, and the SMS Alarm options at the bottom of this same screen.
When you next unlock your screen, you will have to enter the PIN number you set up. There are no PIN recovery options so make sure you don’t forget your PIN. If the PIN is entered incorrectly, a photo is captured and the only indication of it is a notification that shows the device is set to vibrate. It may or may not alert a potential thief to the presence of an anti-theft app installed on the phone.
As for the codeword you’ve set up, you can use it activate an alarm on the device by sending it to your device via SMS. Likewise, if you send GPS [Codeword] the app will send the device’s location to the number the message came from.
Now the question is, how secure a solution is this? We’d say it’s very very basic in terms of device security and you cannot rely on it too much. The SMS functionality isn’t too sound because a thief might remove the SIM but might connect the device to a WiFi network to get in. Second, you can pretty much connect the device to a computer and get to every file in it. The name, iLock, seems like it’s inspired by the iPhone and Apple’s naming convention so I’d suggest the app take another hint from the iPhone and prevent access to a device and its files unless the screen is unlocked.