iOS doesn’t come with very specific app lockdown features. You can have a universal passcode for the iPhone/iPad or choose to hide a few stock apps through the Restrictions feature. But that’s about all.
That is probably why a lot of iOS users keep asking us if there’s a way to password protect the messages app, the phone app and other stock apps that contain personal data. So far, there’s never been a clear way to do that. That is, till now.
PhoneProtect is a new Cydia tweak that brings the password-protection feature to your iPhone. It locks down the Phone app and the Messages app behind an Android-like pattern-based passcode. The apps open only when you enter the password pattern correctly.
When you tap on the Phone or the Messages app, a password interface is overlaid on the homescreen. You draw the pattern and the Phone/Messages app is opened if the pattern is right.
PhoneProtect lets you enable or disable the passcode feature for Phone and Messages individually so you have the ability to control the feature. You can set up a pattern from within the app (PhoneProtect installs as an app on the springboard). The app serves as the control center to alter password patterns and enable/disable the tweak.
PhoneProtect is free but it shows ads on the password interface. You can get rid of the ads by paying (Remove Ads link within the app).
There is no setup other than installing the tweak from Cydia’s BigBoss, enabling the switch for protecting the apps (phone, messages) and setting a pattern for the password.
There’s but one word of caution. If you happen to forget the password pattern, you will have to disable the tweak. If there’s no hope for recovering the forgotten password pattern, your only option is to remove the tweak completely from Cydia and re-installing it.
If my memory serves me right, the initial version (v1.0) had some issues that prevented it from running on the iPhone. All that seems to be fixed now. The tweak lags infrequently, but otherwise, it’s a good solution to lockdown your phone and messages app.
PhoneProtect is free on the BigBoss repo.