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iOS 18 can lock or hide apps, but here’s how Apple can make app security even better

Published Jun 19th, 2024 8:54AM EDT
iOS 18
Image: Apple Inc.

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During the WWDC 2024 keynote, Apple took yet another step towards a more protected device and released two key features: The ability to hide apps, and the option to lock iPhone apps behind Face ID/Touch ID.

With these changes, Apple helps to prevent criminals and other people from accessing your phone’s sensitive data. Personally, the best part of these functions is how seamlessly they work as if you’re the owner of the phone; it almost doesn’t feel like you’re using any protection.

How do Lock and Hide iPhone apps

You can hide apps in iOS 18.
You can hide apps in iOS 18. Image source: Apple Inc.

As explained during the keynote, iOS 18 now offers the ability to lock an app behind Face ID or lock and hide it in a Hidden Folder. The only way to access the locked apps is with biometrical authentication, so even if someone knows your password, they can’t log in to these apps. BGR has tutorials explaining how to activate these features:

By combining Stolen Device Protection with these two features, I think Apple has finally created a more secure environment for iPhone (and iPad) users, whether they’re robbed or lost their devices.

However, I don’t think literally displaying a Hidden Folder in your App Library is the best way to protect your apps. Even though people won’t see which apps are hidden, they can wonder that it’s probably your bank apps and other software that contain sensitive information.

Here’s how Apple could improve these features in a future update.

Hidden Folder and locked app suggestions

If you think about the Photos app, it already features a Hidden Gallery tab. Under Settings, you can hide it. Although it’s an annoying step if you constantly check your hidden folder, it adds an additional layer of security, as it won’t be so easy to discover.

I think Apple should do the same with the Hidden Apps folder under App Library. By removing this folder from sight, criminals – and other people – wouldn’t know you are hiding apps, which could be great.

In addition, locking apps behind Face ID could be integrated with Focus Filters, just like Mail and Messages are. So, if I’m on Personal mode, maybe all my lock apps are unlocked, and when I activate Street mode, it activates and hides some of the apps, such as bank apps.

These are small suggestions that could make a ton of difference, especially for those who worry about their privacy.

Wrap up

While iOS 18 isn’t available to all users, you can hide iPhone apps and even add extra layers of security with App Lock, as it takes your privacy to the next level.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.