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Sponsored App Review: Droid Unlatch

January 6, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

Droid Unlatch is an Android app that wants to be there for you in those moments when you forget those few digits you use to keep your device secure. It does this by creating a second, master PIN that you can have emailed to you or sent via an SMS message in the event you’ve forgotten your pin. This is useful for a couple of reasons, but mainly because a lot of users are simply afraid of securing their device for fear of forgetting their PIN code. With Droid Unlatch, you can enjoy a PIN lock without fearing the ugly factory reset once you enter the wrong one three times in a row. It’s an inexpensive app that solves a big issue for a lot of users, so let’s see how it shapes up.

Droid Unlatch is just a quick download away from the Play Store, and once you have it installed, you’ll be given an introduction into what the app has to offer.

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When setting up Droid Unlatch up, you’ll be asked to input a couple of email addresses and a couple of phone numbers. These are used to send the master PIN when you enter your code incorrectly times in a row.

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You’ll be asked to confirm this data, and it’s a good idea to think about the info you’ve put in to make sure you’ve got the right data there. Otherwise, you might very well be facing the dreaded factory reset we all want to avoid.

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How Droid Unlatch achieves this is by becoming a device administrator on your device, which basically gives the app more access to your device than others you have installed. Still, this sort of access is required to save you in a pinch.

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I tested this for myself on my Xperia Z2 and I purposely entered the wrong PIN three times. I was then prompted by the Droid Unlatch screen offering me some help. Droid Unlatch uses its Device Administrator rights to reset your PIN to the one generated by Droid Unlatch. This is then sent to you and you can use it to unlock your device with right away. Here, you can also connect to a WiFi network if you need data to send the email.

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It’s worth noting that you should of course change your PIN back to one you’ll remember more easily once you’ve had to do this, but other than that the process was easy as pie. You can color me surprised here, and I was pretty impressed with the whole process. It’s worth noting that this process will work with a password as well as pattern locks as well. I tested it using a PIN code as that’s how I lock my device, but others might use a password etc.

There are so many situations where this sort of thing is going to come in handy. Parents with curious children is one of my first thoughts. How many times have you had to factory reset a phone over the years because the little one has tried to get in to play Angry Birds or Subway Surfers? Perhaps not many, but more than you’d like. Elderly users would benefit from this as well, which isn’t to say they shouldn’t have a PIN code in the first place, but just that everyone needs a little help every now and then. Droid Unlatch genuinely works, and I was pretty surprised by that. I was initially nervous to throw my phone into a lock, but Droid Unlatch quickly yanked me out of the pain that would have been a full reset on my Xperia Z2. While it might not be needed for everyone, Droid Unlatch is a nice safety net, and allows users to enjoy the secure aspects of Android without worrying about forgetting their PIN code.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – Droid Unlatch is pretty quick, and when you lock yourself out, there’s only a few moments wait to get back in.
  • Features (4/5) – A simple, inexpensive app that does what it says it does with little fanfare or flaming hoops to jump through, This offers a good deal of stuff for a lot of users.
  • Theme (4/5) – This isn’t a stunner by any means, but it’s certainly not ugly by any means and it’s easy to use as well.
  • Overall (4/5) – A solid, dependable app that might not seem exciting or even all that interesting, Droid Unlatch is a very helpful tool and it does exactly what it promises it does.

Pros

  • Droid Unlatch is pretty cheap considering that it could save you a call to customer support or a full wipe of your device, and it means there are no ads here, either.
  • No hoops to jump through here, just a simple setup procedure that takes you through everything step-by-step.
  • Works on either smartphones or tablets, of course for SMS messages you’ll need a phone.
  • Doesn’t get in the way of your lockscreen or anything like that. It just lets you get on with things once you have the needed master PIN.

Cons

  • Master PIN would be better if it were just 4 digits.
  • WhatsApp support would be helpful for those that don’t use SMS messages or email much.

All-in-all, Droid Unlatch is what it is; a simple tool that serves a simple purpose. It’s well executed, well polished and it doesn’t mess users about. It’s there when you need it, and out of your way when you don’t. Those with teenagers prone to forgetting their codes can have it set up to send them an email, and the same goes for partners or workers who use one email as their IT department. This is a great tool and one that people should really keep installed on their phone if they’ve fallen foul of the factory reset fun in the past.

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