As smartphones keep on improving, perhaps the time isn’t too far when computers will be replaced by handheld or maybe even wearable devices. Even now, iOS and Android have lured a lot of users away from frequent use of their desktop or laptop computers, but there is one area where phones and computers differ a great deal: an iPhone doesn’t provide the level of privacy that a Mac or PC can. Sure you can put a passcode on the device, but if a situation demands sharing your phone with someone, you can’t just log them into a guest account so that you personal data and settings won’t visible. At least by default you can’t, but there’s a Cydia tweak for that. iPrivacy adds a highly customizable guest mode to jailbroken iOS devices that you can enter with a single gesture. It bars access to any app, folder or feature that is for your eyes only.
Although technically speaking, iPrivacy is a tweak, but it’ll perhaps be more accurate to call it a platform. iPrivacy supports various plugins, and it is through these add-ons that users can restrict access to different parts of their device. To familiarize you with the tweak’s working, iPrivacy comes with a default plugin pack, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
To get started, you have to select a ‘Host’ pin code, that also doubles as the unlock code for the iPrivacy menu itself. Guest mode can only be enabled if you are using a passcode lock on your device, so make sure to enable that first from the General section of the Settings app. Basically, whenever the iOS passcode is keyed in, the device will be unlocked in normal mode, while entering the iPrivacy code instead will takes you into Guest mode. Another way of entering guest mode is to perform an Activator gesture (configurable via the tweak’s menu), or using the toggle it adds to SBSettings.
So how exactly can the Guest mode be configured? The iPrivacy menu has a dedicated section for plugins. Each plugin has unique options, based on the app or folder it handles. If the plugin is for an app, it might let you restrict access to some features of the app, or perhaps allow you to set a separate passcode for it. Other options can help you prevent anyone from deleting the app, moving it to a new position or putting it in a folder. The default plugin that comes with iPrivacy deals with folders, the Voice Memos app, iPod app and Notifications, while a paid ($1.99) plugin aimed at the stock Photos app has now been released in the Cydia store as well.
iPrivacy is a free tweak, and so is the default plugin that comes with it. Unless it proves to be a little too complicated for your liking, there is no reason why you shouldn’t give the tweak a try. Head to the BigBoss repo of the Cydia store to download iPrivacy. The tweak works with both iOS 5 and iOS 6.