Despite the recent passcode-related bugs discovered in iOS 6, most users are satisfied with the security their iPhone offers by default. Having said that, when you are at home, or in any secure environment, the lock screen protection can get a bit annoying. There are a few ways of changing your device’s level of protection with a single gesture. If you have a jailbroken device, it is also possible to avoid the passcode altogether while keeping selective apps protected. Protect Photos is the latest Cydia tweak that lets you do this but as its name indicates, it focuses mainly on keeping your images private. The app can be used to put password protection on the stock Camera and Photos app and in addition, you can also restrict access of third-party apps to your image library.
Protect Photos has a default password that’s shown on the tweak’s Cydia description as well as the text box on the password screen. This password has to be used to access the Protect Photos menu in the Settings app. Once you’re in, it is possible as well as recommended to change the password to one of your choice by navigating to the end of the options list.
Although Protect Photos is capable of applying its password to all stock and third-party apps, there are still separate options for enabling protection for the stock Photos and Camera apps. Rather disappointingly, you can easily bypass the tweak if you launch the camera using the lock screen grabber. To make Protect Photos ask for a password when a third-party app tries to access your camera roll, turn on the ‘Protect Photos in Other App’ option. A similar toggle exists for limiting access to photos from the Settings app’s wallpaper menu.
To protect apps that don’t deal with photos, head to the tweak’s ‘More’ section and choose the desired apps. This makes Protect Photos almost completely foolproof, since you can lock Cydia itself in this way to ensure that a clever intruder doesn’t simply delete the tweak to access your photos.
To make sure you always have a way out of trouble in case you forget the password, Protect Photos lets you bypass its code if you enter your device’s UDID in the password field. Since this value is only visible via iTunes, no casual miscreant is likely to exploit this contingency plan.
Protect Photos is a useful tweak, especially considering its ability to protect photos from within other apps that can come handy on a lot of occasions. To make it perfect though, Protect Photos needs to be updated pretty quickly. Apart from the camera grabber bug, password-protected apps remain completely accessible from the App Switcher tray, which can void the tweak’s whole purpose unless you regularly clear the multitasking area of your device.
All these problems shouldn’t stop you from giving Protect Photos a try though, since the tweak is available as a free download in the BigBoss repo of the Cydia store.