ChatLock

People seem to value privacy more than ever these days, and with such a massive part of our lives taking place in digital conversations, isn’t it about time we do more to protect them?

Not all apps incorporate native conversation-centric privacy features, but with the help of a newly released jailbreak tweak called ChatLock by iOS developer Elias Sfeir, you can lock individual conversations in several of your favorite messaging apps with just a few taps to prevent friends and family from logging into your device and reading your personal chats.

As depicted in the screenshot examples above, ChatLock works by integrating a ‘Lock’ function into several popular chat apps, including iMessage and SMS in Apple’s native Messages app, direct messages in the Twitter app, messages in the WhatsApp Messenger app, and direct message in the Instagram app. Depending on the app and its interface, the Lock feature may appear as a swipe-to-access button or as a tap-to-access prompt.

After you lock a conversation, you won’t be able to read the contents until you authenticate yourself with a password or with biometrics (Face ID and Touch ID are both supported). The password works great as a backup when you find yourself in a situation where biometrics are inconvenient. Here’s a quick video demo compliments of the developer:

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Upon downloading ChatLock, you’ll find a dedicated preference pane in the Settings app where you can configure it to your liking:

ChatLock settings

Here, you can:

  • Enable or disable taking a picture with the front-facing camera when authentication fails
  • Configure options for the Messages app
  • Configure options for the Twitter app
  • Configure options for the WhatsApp Messenger app
  • Configure options for the Instagram app

Options that you can configure for each app include:

  • Enabling or disabling biometric authentication
  • Hide the chat cell’s contents from view in thread mode when locked
  • Configure a written password to act as a biometric backup
  • Resolve application crashes
  • Clean up an app when it slows down
  • And more…

The developer provides a Respring button at the bottom of the secondary preference panes so that you can save any changes you make on demand.

We particularly like the fact that you can forcibly capture a front-facing picture on a failed authentication attempt because this means you can find out who might be trying to read your conversations. If you have a friend, family member, or spouse who knows your passcode, this can be a common occurrence. Fortunately, now you can be aware of your surroundings even when you aren’t around your device.

If you’re interested in protecting your conversation privacy even further, then you can purchase ChatLock for $1.50 from the Packix repository in your preferred package manager. The tweak supports jailbroken iOS 11, 12, and 13 devices.

Do you care enough about your conversation privacy to lock individual conversations? Let us know in the comments section.