Will Verduzco · Feb 9, 2014 at 09:00 pm

Thwart Password-Stealing Eyes with TimePIN

Don’t you hate it when you are stuck in a crowd and you need to unlock your mobile device? Sure, the vast majority of the time, nobody’s genuinely trying to sneak a peek at your lock screen code—but you never truly know who’s watching. Because of the potential danger of having others learn our lock screen codes, we all try various “techniques” to thwart would-be prying eyes. But let’s face it—if somebody really wants to stealthily learn your lock screen code, there’s a good chance that they’ll find it.

Rather than using a single, predefined unlock code, wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a time-based PIN that changes so that a password that works one minute won’t work the next? And wouldn’t it be nice if this PIN relied on something like the time of day so that you could never accidentally forget? Well, that’s exactly what XDA Senior Recognized Developer jcase has done with his new application TimePIN.

TimePIN does exactly as its name states. It allows you to enter a 4-digit PIN based on the current time of day to unlock your device. And if somebody happens to sneak a peek at your unlock code, it won’t do them any good unless they somehow figure out that the PIN changes based on the time of day. Obviously for this to work, you must grant the application Device Administrator status. However, the process is painlessly easy, and you will be up and running in no time.

What about if you want to make things a bit more complicated for those would-be hackers? Never fear, as jcase has you covered. Through a series of modifiers, you can obfuscate the original time from the generated PIN code. For example, the if the time is 12:34 and you enable the “reverse” modifier, the code will become 4321. And for an even greater degree of security, there are also other modifiers available such as mirror (12344321), double (12341234), and offset (add a predefined offset to the PIN). What’s more, these additional modifiers can be stacked together for a seriously complicated password that only you could ever know.

TimePIN is available for free and comes with the time-based PIN functionality, as well as the reverse modifier. However, a small $1.99 in-app purchase unlocks all of the additional modifiers for life. Fend off those pesky password snoopers by heading over to the application thread to get started.

Those who’d rather see it action before jumping on the bandwagon should check out the demo video made by jcase himself below:


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Will Verduzco

willverduzco is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Will Verduzco is the Portal Administrator for the XDA-Developers Portal. He has been addicted to mobile technology since the HTC Wizard. But starting with the Nexus One, his gadget love affair shifted to Google's little green robot. He is also a Johns Hopkins University graduate in neuroscience and is now currently studying to become a physician. View willverduzco's posts and articles here.
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