LEO Privacy Guard is an app that we've already looked at before in a previous app review, but it's back with even more features and a completely new user interface. With a more advanced privacy scanner, that checks if your home WiFi network is safe, as well as guiding you through the process of locking your apps and personal photos and videos. Version 3.0 of LEO Privacy Guard has a speed boost feature included, as well as some fancy new app covers that make it even easier to fool someone that's trying to gain access to locked apps and such. This new version even has the ability to take a photo of someone trying to gain access your secure and private content, as well as a whole host of other features. Let's take a closer look, shall we.
As with the original LEO Privacy Guard, this new version 3.0 can be downloaded from the Play Store. Setting everything up is fairly simple.
There's an introduction to the new app, and then you'll be asked to choose either a pattern:
Or a PIN code to keep all of the settings and secrets on your device nice and safe from prying eyes.
In this Version 3.0 of LEO Privacy Guard, there are some interesting new additions, such as the Privacy Scanner, which now does a much more thorough job of checking your device.
While I say "thorough" this is simply a method of getting you to use key features of the app. There's no scanning your device for viruses or anything like that, and the only way the Privacy Score goes up is if you start to lock away certain content such as apps and your photos:
I have to say this is a feature that seems to be more about striking alarm and fear in users than helping them out. Rather than proclaim to be a privacy scanner, this should be renamed to 'Privacy Wizard' or something else, as it doesn't scan your device at all, it just looks to see which of the LEO Privacy Guard features you're actually using.
The WiFi scanner, on the other hand, is an interesting and possibly genuinely useful inclusion, it scans your network to see if it is encrypted and so on.
Of course, one of the main features of LEO Privacy Guard remains the ability to lock away apps behind your pattern or PIN code, and it remains as simple as secure as it always has been.
As you can see I have chosen to lock WhatsApp away, so when I open WhatsApp, I will be greeted with a PIN code prompt to actually open the app, thus preventing people other than myself to gain access to my WhatsApp program.
I really didn't like the suggested ad here in a pin lock screen, anyone could click on this ad and install this app without my knowing, which isn't what we'd expect from a privacy protecting app.
Speaking of Themes, there's a good selection of them available to download whenever you want in order to spruce things up a little bit and make it a little more exciting.
Peter than this however, are the app covers, these provide fake errors and so on in order to keep your app locked away in a more disguised manner.
The fingerprint sensor cover is a good one, as my device actually has a fingerprint sensor, so friends and family wouldn't be shocked to see such a thing pop up on my device.
There are more advanced features in this new version 3.0 however, such as the Break-in Alert which is something I think is really great to have here.
Then there is also the inclusion of some more advanced privacy tups, offered up for free.
For as many new features that the developers have added to LEO Privacy Guard, some new features aren't entirely welcome. I installed this one app from the Play Store, and yet I ended up with three icons on my device:
That icon on the right for 'App Joy' is nothing more than a link to some suggested apps, which are essentially ads, as we can see if we open it:
This is disappointing to see in LEO Privacy Guard, as after all there's a lot of value here in this free app, and while these developers need to make money this is not the way I would have liked to see it. These ads are intrusive and do pose a privacy risk, sadly.
All-in-all, this latest version of LEO Privacy Guard gives me mixed results. As an app and content locker, there are few out there that offer as many themes, as quick performance and innovative app covers as this, but as a Privacy Guard? That's where things get messy. The Privacy Scanner is nothing more than a way of getting users set up with app locking, photo locking and videos locking. There's nothing wrong with that, but that is a setup procedure, not a privacy scanner, and so the feature is wrongly named. Moreover, the intrusive app suggestions and included app store, 'App Joy' are nothing more than an invasion of my privacy. I understand that a free app like this has to bring in some sort of revenue, but an app that promises to protect my privacy should work in ads in a much more subtle way, As these blatant inclusions simply make me think twice about how private LEO Privacy Guard really is.
- Speed (4/5) - No doubt about it, LEO Privacy Guard continues to be one of the speediest app lockers around, and this is good to see.
- Theme (4/5) - There are a lot of themes available here and the app covers are great as well. Not to mention the cleaner look of version 3.0, which is a big step in the right direction.
- Features (4/5) - Features such as the Break-in Alert, the WiFi Scanner and the app locking are all fantastic, and you can even lock photos and videos away as well, which is great.
- Overall (4/5) - The majority of what's new in LEO Privacy Guard is well worth using, but the suggested apps are something we could do without. The app locking and content locking works well and the break-in detection is great as well.
- Break-in Alert can take a photo of who is trying to access your messages or photos, allowing you to see if it was your partner or a sneaky friend.
- Completely free to download and use, which is a nice touch, but there are some app suggestions that are unwelcome.
- One of the best app and content lockers available on Android, this makes it simple and effective to keep certain apps - like WhatsApp and Facebook - behind locked doors, as well as certain folders and videos.
- No need to go through a lengthy setup procedure, as the Privacy Scanner will suggest things to the users.
- Privacy Scanner is a good feature, but it does nothing more than setup certain features of the app.
At the end of the day, Version 3.0 of LEO Privacy Guard is great, as the app locking is still the best around, and I think this version is actually a little faster than the previous one. Being able to lock away messaging apps as well as certain photo albums and videos makes this an app to have installed if you have kids or prying family members. I really like the Break-In feature, and think that more of these should be available on apps in the Play Store.