iPhone App Review: iDiscreteJune 24th, 2010 by dancemonkey
The beauty of an active developer community is that occasionally you see brilliant sparks of innovation in seemingly simple applications.
The concept behind iDiscrete is not new, and is well-represented in the App Store. It is an application which allows you to securely and privately store documents (including TXT, PDF, DOC, XLS, and PPT), images, and videos. You can import them from their respective iPhone apps or import them via a WiFi connected web browser on a computer.
The real genius with iDiscrete however is the way in which you access the app. Instead of being presented with a passcode screen (which practically screams “I have videos here that I don’t want anyone to know I have!”), upon tapping the app icon you see an animated loading screen. You then tap in several predetermined areas on this loading screen in order to access the app’s main content. If you fail to enter the “code” within the allotted time (configurable from within the app itself) you are instead presented with a basic note-taking “app”. The name of the app itself is even discrete, it’s simply called “ID” on your home screen.
The beauty and simplicity of this access method is so great that it makes me wonder how impossible it is that nobody else though of it before. With this app not only can you hide certain content on your phone, you can even hide the fact that it’s even there and hidden in the first place.
There’s even a clever backdoor in case you forget the tap access sequence. You define an unlock phrase that, when entered into the dummy “notepad app”, clears all security features of the app and lets you access the content. From there you can re-set your passcode and access phrase. Genius.
The app has a few flaws:
- It seems to have no password protection on the WiFi interface, which for a security app seems like a strange omission.
- There also does not seem to be a “keep awake” function for the WiFi access, meaning you may have to keep tapping it when working through the web interface or turn off sleep on your iPhone entirely.
- It seems that the content within the app itself is not encrypted (or if it is they don’t advertise that fact).
Overall, iDiscrete is a great app in its category, and the developers seem to have great features planned for including in future releases. As it stands now the app is well worth getting if you’re looking for not only a secure place to keep information you would rather keep private, but also to keep private the fact that you have secure information on your device in the first place.