Never mind the reasons why you want to hide some pictures, we’re just telling you this jailbreak app makes it easier to do. SwapCamRoll is an app for iOS 4 that essentially gives you two camera rolls on your iPhone. Only one is active at a time while the inactive one hides on the “flip side”, completely inaccessible on the phone until you activate SwapCamRoll. (You can navigate to either folder through SSH though).

So if you have some er, private pictures that you don’t want others to see when they’re scrolling through your photos, then you can create an entirely new camera roll that can be swapped out for the default. For some, it just might be the app you never knew you needed!

So how does it work? The app is pretty bare bones, but does have some options that may be confusing to new users. Read on for the breakdown:

How It Works

Let’s call your current camera roll the “A” side. This is what you see when you open the Photos app under albums. Once you install SwapCamRoll (SCR) from Cydia, you open it and the screen has the button to “Swap Camera Roll”.

Tap that and it essentially flips your camera roll over like a cassette tape (remember those?). Once you return to your Photos app and look at the Camera Roll, you’ll find it’s empty. Don’t worry – your photos are not gone or deleted!

(Note: I added the text above in the screenshot for fun. It doesn’t actually show up like that.) Now when you take photos, they will show up on this “B” side. Videos, too. Plug your phone into your computer and it will only recognize and download photos from the “B” side. Need to access the “A” side? Then return to SCR and tap “Swap Camera Roll” again. Now the “A” side returns to your default and “B” side goes into hiding. Simple, right?

The Options

Toggling “Auto Swap” on will cause the app to automatically swap the camera rolls as soon as you open the app. It takes the extra step of tapping “Swap Camera Roll” out of the process.

If you tap “Activate Old Camera Swap” it will make the app function like it used to on iOS 3.x. In this version, simply tapping the SCR icon from the springboard switched the rolls, with only a brief splash screen to let you know it swapped. This is the fastest, most efficient way to make use of the app, however, according to comments, it proved confusing to many users as they thought their photos were permanently deleted. If you enable this, there’s no way to disable it other than uninstalling and reinstalling the app.

Tips and Tricks

When you back up your phone, whichever side is the active Camera Roll will be the one backed up and saved, meaning if your phone goes kaput and has to be restored, you’re only restoring the photos on that roll. Be sure to back up both rolls somewhere other than iTunes by downloading them to your computer.

The app basically creates a duplicate Camera Roll folder in the folder /user/Media. The original/”A” side is DCIM and the “B” side is DCIM_2. I just wanted to point this out in case you want to make a backup through SSH, and to point out that it’s not entirely hidden (so if your new girlfriend is tech-savvy, best delete those pics of your ex!)

Lastly, if you’re really worried about prying eyes, you can make the SCR icon invisible through SBSettings “Poof” feature. That way you can only find it through Spotlight search.

What do you all think of the app? Think you can use it? Do you think a “Mark Private” or similar feature will ever come to Apple’s Photos app?

  • Turbo

    I’d recommend LockDown (LockDown Pro for >iOS4)… It can password protect ANY app!

    • StanTheMan

      You can lock your photos with lockdown and still access them through the photo preview in stock camera app…so you need to either lock camera app or use preview removal tool. Found that out a while back playing around with it.

      • Turbo

        Oh… Haven’t even noticed. And now when I think about it, you can access your photos through the ‘Wallpaper Settings’ as well. Not a problem for me, since Settings is PW protected for me…
        But thanx for the heads-up on the Camera.app…

  • Pissed_Off_NERD!

    Is Lockdown Free?
    If so where can I get it?

    • Turbo

      Yes, Lockdown is free. But it doesn’t work on iOS4. And never will. That’s what Lockdown Pro is for. But it only costs $2… And you get both of them through Cydia…

  • Pissed_Off_NERD!

    Yeah I see Turbo I found it and downloaded it and it crashed my springboard twice…guess I gotta pay $2 or find another alternative….
    Thanks

    • Turbo

      It’s well worth the $2.. It’s a lot better and faster than the free version ever was. The Pro also have some ‘security holes’ plugged. For example, when backgrounding an app, you could start it again from the background icon (Activator) without a password… This doesn’t work any more with Pro…

      But as we discussed above, there’s still some holes left. i’ve tried to get in touch with the author, but i can’t find a mailaddress to him/her…

  • Pedant

    This is nothing new – see RollSwap in the Apple Store – been there for years.

    It has four alternate camera rolls, not just one.

    • Checked it out but it’s not compatible with iOS 4. 4 cam rolls would’ve been cool!

  • PW

    The fact that this app shows you that you are hiding something completely defeats the purpose of hiding something.

    Just get iFile and put your pictures in an obscure directory no one will think to look in.

  • ZAC

    hello people! i just restored my phone and lost my jailbreak. photos in my another album that are hidden by SWAP CAMERA ROLL is gone now. HOW am i suppose to get it back? in the computer? or download CYDIA again and download SWAP CAMERA ROLL? i assume the photos are still in my phone as the memory space used is the same. but i just cant find way to access to it. thanks for the reply. please help me get back my photos!!!

    • Sorry Bro

      Unless you did a backup while you had the proper roll exposed, iTunes would have no way to see them. And if you’re on a 3GS or 4, your phone’s encryption key got tossed with the restore. Sorry, bro, afraid you’re SOL.