Confuse Nearby Thieves With CyanogenMod's New PIN Scramble Layout


Phone security is no joke. Once upon a time the only information someone could get from your phone was who is in your address book. However, times have changed. Now your smartphone is a one-stop-shop to everything that is you. With each year, each incarnation and each new service the OEMs lump into their systems, smartphones literally know more about you. Your bank details, your emails, your nudie selfies and even your weight and exercise routines. As such, those who can access your device also know all this information.

Now although we hear numerous warnings of apps trying to obtain your data, dodgy websites and malicious software. The easiest way for someone to get into your phone is straight through the front door. By using your phone. This is where phone security such as locks come in. More importantly this is where the big names are trying to think of new ways to keep you protected. First we had the PIN code, which migrated into the pattern, into facial recognition and finally into fingerprint scanning. That said, in spite of PIN code being the oldest it also seems to be the most secure. Unless of course someone is looking over your shoulder and watching you type in your PIN. Well don't worry, Cyanogen seem to be working on the problem with CyanogenMod now offering a scrambled keyboard.


Yes, your one stop shop to android customization, Cyanogen, have introduced a scrambled screen lock feature dubbed 'Scramble layout'. As the name suggests this is the standard PIN lock setup where you will use your normal PIN. But each time the lock screen pops up, it will display the number set in a different order. A scrambled order. This way, if someone is looking over your shoulder and sees you press what is normally the '6' key, it might actually have been a 2, or a 8, or even a 9. In fairness, this is not the first time this feature has been used with some online games implementing a similar log-in feature. Not to mention there is also an Xposed tool for this. Although Xposed does require root. If you want to give the feature a try then once you set-up a pin you should see the option pop up in any of the 'Commercial CyanogenMod' builds. Which basically means the OnePlus One and other pre-loaded CyanogenMod devices. So what do you think of scrambled layout? Will you use it? Let us know

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John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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