Security is an integral part of BlackBerry. Being able to protect your messages and other items from prying eyes is important. Over the years we've seen applications go a step further and protect or lock the hub. AppLock, from the developer behind Power Tools, is designed to password protect all Android applications, the BlackBerry Hub, Assistant, Phone, Text Message, Contacts, and Calendar applications from unauthorized access.
Setting up and using the application is quite simple. Upon launching, you are presented with all of the AppLock options: Android, Hub, Assistant, Phone, Contacts, and Calendar. For the Android portion all that is required is tapping on the toggle switch to activate. The BlackBerry apps require a short setup process in order to activate. For each option, tap on the setup button and it will take you to the application. In order to finalize the process, you must leave as an Active Frame and go back to AppLock. Keep in mind that if you reset your device or upgrade AppLock you will have to repeat this process again to reconfigure. A Hub notification will alert you if that is the case.
At the bottom of the screen users enter in the application password. This is used not only to secure AppLock but is the password you enter to unlock the selected applications. In addition to receiving a password prompt every time the app is opened, a session password can be set. Using the dropdown menu, users can choose how long AppLock will store the password before it prompts you again (i.e. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc).
Once the setup process is complete, users can pick and choose which of the apps on the main screen to enable to disable. However, in order to function properly, AppLock must not remain as an Active Frame. After all of the options are set, you must exit out of the application. Upon loading one of the selected applications, a white dialogue box appears with a choice to unlock or cancel. Choosing unlock brings you to AppLock to input the password. For me, this box is functional but rather large with small lettering. Perhaps slight tweaks to the design might help.
AppLock uses BlackBerry's AES 256-bit encryption to secure the key, which is decrypted by your password. In addition, there is an option to change the wallpaper using backgrounds from your media library.
The one thing to note is that if you enable the Android function, be aware that you cannot pick and choose which applications to lock. You either lock all of the Android apps on your device or none at all.
If you are looking to secure your messages in the Hub, your appointments, and calendar from strangers it is a handy application with which to do so. Also, being able to lock your Android applications, especially since I have a few budgeting and bank applications with personal information, is quite useful as well.
You can find AppLock for OS 10.3.1 and higher for $1.99 in BlackBerry World. For a limited time, it is on sale for $0.99.