My first experiences with security apps was on my first Huawei and it slowed it down to be almost unusable, clogging up valuable RAM, and for what purpose? I was only ever going to install apps from the Play Store, and not going to go to questionable web sites. I however did make sure that I was going to be a bit responsible and always have a virus scanner, but it wasn’t a high priority. On my mobile I had AVG installed and on the tablet AVAST and to be honest, I hadn’t thought about reviewing security apps, they all seem a bit droll to me. When the folks at OIbit Mobile Security asked me to have a look at their app I thought that the time was right to have a go.
What does the App claim it can do?
Well, the play store says that “It is the #1 All-in-one app to help protect your device from any potential threats, avoid sneak leak of your privacy and boost device performance.” They claim that it will boost performance, kill all those pesky apps that slow down your device and is simple to use.
The app is intended to be an all-in-one app that can replace all your security and boosting apps because it’s simpler to use and more lightweight that you might think. Some of the included features in the free version are:
- Scan – for cache cleaning, rubbish files, useless APK’s (left over app files)
- Anti-virus – scans for virus and malicious apps that will make you feel sick when they take over your device or steal all your information.
- Phone booster – release more memory by killing apps that you’re not using anymore
- Game booster – more of the same, but deeper I think (I’ve never really needed this)
- Anti-Theft – Where you get to set off an alarm, lock or wipe your phone if you think someone has stolen it.
- Web security – So that you don’t go to the nasty sites that give you an infection or steal your information
- Security Guard – Just something to check if your device settings are safe
If you purchase a premium license which looks like it’s a once off fee and is about the same as a subscription cost for some of the others you also get:
- Anti-phishing – to help work out if the website you’re visiting is trying to skim your credit card details and more.
- Payment Guard – To keep you secure when making payments on-line.
There’s other tools in the sidebar which IObit Mobile Security intend on having available for those who want to use it.
Does the App REALLY do what it claims to do?
First of all, I am NOT a security expert and I’m not about to give you advise on this app based on it’s security measures. I’m also NOT going to start going out into the wide world and try to test any security app by purposely putting my devices into the firing line to see if the virus protection works.
I can however have a look at the interface and let you, the reader, know what I think about it. So, with that big disclaimer I’ll have to take the security side on face value and you’ll have to search for expert advise on the security side elsewhere.
For the most part the security and boosting side of the app is quite easy to get to. The app uses the latest Material design which means large square tiles with clear text. It also means that it’s reasonably clear of extra information that you don’t need. The advertisements are not obtrusive in the free version so they don’t really get in the way of the functionality and they don’t pester you which would put me off right away.
The two big focus tiles are down the bottom for Boosting and Security and a big “SCAN” button sits in prime realestate for when you want to clean the junk away. At first I thought that this was to scan for viruses since this is a, “Anti-virus” app, but no, make no mistake, it is to clean your system. It does a decent job at this, but I’ve noticed that it doesn’t seem to clean itself. I had to use “All-In-One Toolbox” to clean the AMC Security cache.
Beneath the Scan button is a deep scan link that looks for large files, thumbnails and other stuff which the typical user probably won’t look at, or know about.
The boost button takes you to the list of active apps that you can choose to close or not.
To the right of the boost tile is the link to the internet related security tools, and there’s six of them including the two premium tools which are not activated in the free version of the app. The settings here are easy to understand and for the most part easy to use.
The only tool that I found that was a little cumbersome was the “Anti-theft” tool. It was focused firmly at phones that can send and receive SMS texts. To use any of the options you need to be able to send the device an SMS which is useless for my $500 tablet but OK for my $300 phone. To help you send the text the app asks a question and gets you to type the phone’s password (which is set previously on the phone in AMC Security at the time you activate the option). When you wish to activate the alarm etc you enter the information and it takes you to the phone’s SMS app. I expect that AMC Security is suppose to fill out the SMS for you, but I had to do it myself, which was pointless anyway because I couldn’t send a message from my tablet to my phone or my phone to my tablet.
I actually found that the app was easy to navigate and when I swipe from the left to expose the sidebar I found a further 5 tools including Call/SMS blocker, Privacy Locker, Battery Saver, App Manager and Privacy Advisor. Also in the sidebar are the standard feedback and settings links and a FAQs which you don’t always find but is sometimes handy.
What do I like most about the App?
I do like the design of the interface, it’s nice and quick. Though the UI is still maybe a little inconsistent with respect to the boosting and cleaning functionality. Perhaps the additional sidebar apps could have the tile to the left and the boosting functions could have the top half of the display, but this is a niggle.
To be honest I also like that the team at IObit Mobile Security have also kept the memory size down. I’ve tested it against AVG and AVAST and on both my tablet and phone AMC Security is smaller than both.
I like the option (buried in the settings options) to memory boost when the screen turns off and the little pop up message that comes when I start Chrome letting me know that AMC Secruity has my back while I’m surfing the net.
I do like how almost all of the security tools are available to me with the exception of a firewall
What’s not to like about it?
Typically I don’t like All-In-One apps unless they do what they do really well. It’s hard to get that in many apps, and well, I honestly think that this one falls short in a few ways. First of all, it didn’t tell me when I had the insecure option “Unknown Sources” set or the fact that I was operating with elevated priorities (superuser or root). Every other security app I’ve tried in the past has at least let me know when I’ve selected the option to install apps from an unknown source.
As far as the app is concerned though the internal storage exists but the external SD Card storage doesn’t. There’s no photos, videos, documents, apps that I’ve moved to the SD Card storage. This to me is a big issue. Who, might I ask, doesn’t move pictures or data to the external storage? I really don’t think it’s acceptable that a security app ignores the external storage system, in fact it needs to be treated as an source of infection just like any other.
Additionally when I tried the privacy locker it only looked for files on the internal storage, not the SD External card, I know I’m using Android 5 on my tablet and 4.4 on my phone, but I know that there’s ways to allow the SD Card read and write. I also know that the external SD card is FAT but I’m sure that there are ways to encrypt files in a way that they can be effectively locked. From this point of view I think that this is one of the big omissions from this app.
What are the little niggles (What would make it perfect)?
Well, again, I don’t normally like the all-in-one approach unless it’s a specific all-in-one app since most all-in-ones don’t normally do everything well since they normally need to compromise quantity over quality. I think that this is the case with AMC Security. There’s a couple of features which are missing and some that could be adjusted to make the interface more consistent and user friendly.
There are definitely better boosting apps out there for cleaning cache and memory, such as “All-In-One Toolbox” which I’ve reviewed earlier. The interface for boosting seems to be a bit random. I say this because you should make the feature that would be used most the most prominent. I personally want to free up RAM space much more often than clean up cache data and yet cleaning the cache etc looks to be the most prominent.
On the security side it falls down by not providing an app locker and/or firewall. I also prefer security apps that provide a firewall. This is something that most security apps don’t add even if it would be the easiest to implement.
If there’s some constructive criticism I’d like to give it would be to re-arrange the user interface a little to make it more intuitive. The tools in the sidebar could take the “Booster” tile since the top half of the initial screen is already dedicated to boosting. The big “Scan” button should probably be a one touch “Boost” to free RAM while a small tile or a link either side and below could be changed to the “Scan” and “Deep Scan” links.
The Anti-theft tool could be more useful if it showed you the actual text you need to put into an SMS or better yet actually add the text into the SMS app. I hope that it can work for you but it doesn’t seem to work with Contacts+.
Why did I decide to keep/remove it?
This is going to be a tough decision, I think I like this app better than the others because of the memory realestate. I don’t know if I’ll actually use it. I’m waiting for AVAST to bring back the firewall, and it has an app locker. Don’t let this stop you though, but to buy the pro version it will set you back $9.99 yearly and there’s some other reputable security apps out there for cheaper.
This is where I need to let you all know that they offered me a premium license so that I could review all the features. I didn’t need this to cover all the important features so I didn’t use it.
Would my wife use it?
I think that she could use it. The interface is quite easy but there’s going to be a few features that she won’t use, like the game booster.