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- Please! This is a crisis! I really need to borrow your phone!

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by tempmail, May 28, 2011.

  1. tempmail

    Thread Starter

    What is your strategy when someone asks to borrow your phone?

    Say your phone contains some information that you really do not want that borrower to see (be it a secret contact, a photo, bookmark, whatever), but the situation makes it practically impossible to deny lending another person your phone for a couple minutes - out of your sight.

    Say you are out of office with your menacing boss and he gets the message his wife has been in a car accident. And then his phone battery dies. He urgently needs to borrow your phone for several minutes.

    What do you do?

    A) You simply say: "No! My phone is my private property! You may not borrow it. I do not care if you wife is dying. No!"

    B) You hand him the phone, praying to God that he not open the SMS application or photo gallery to discover the secret affair you were having with his daughter last night.

    C) You activate "guest mode" and hand him the phone, knowing he will not be able to see any of the information he should not see.

    D) You transform him into a newt using an ancient magical incantation.

    Come to think about it, my question can probably be summed up like this:
    What kind of "guest modes" are available for Android, and how do they work?


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  2. ninja_reject

    ninja_reject Android Enthusiast

    Or option five, hand him 50 cents and steer him towards a payphone. Lol. I don't think there is a natural "guest mode" but I will check the market for something. Brb.
  3. snapper.fishes

    snapper.fishes Android Expert

    If it's your boss, there's not a lot that you can do about it. Just give it to him and pray that he doesn't spot your kitty collection (or pray that he like cats).
  4. UtzMan

    UtzMan Lurker

    Wow, good one, I usually dial for them, hand them the phone and it doesn't leave my sight.
  5. ninja_reject

    ninja_reject Android Enthusiast

    Two I saw that looked easy to turn on and off were seal, and pinnacle locker. Both have a lite and pro version. There are others, just search application lock or privacy widget, or something similar.
    tempmail likes this.
  6. tempmail

    Thread Starter

    The paid app called Seal looks promising

    (The paid app called Pinnacle Locker Pro I find dubious. It requires Full Internet Access. Why? It is a paid app so should not require that. That is a major flaw in my opinion so I rule that one straight out.)

    EDIT: I WAS CORRECT! There is something fishy with that app, according to a related thread. Stay away I say.

    More suggestions are welcome!
    iron mongoose and ninja_reject like this.
  7. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time...

    I consider smartphones to be handheld computers. And as such I treat the data on them the same as I would a laptop. In this case, however, a much more easily lost/misplaced laptop. If it's something I don't want others to see then it shouldn't be there... or should be hidden from view with an app like "Hide my pics".

  8. tempmail

    Thread Starter

    That might work for basic short messages. But if the conversation is of a more private nature or goes on for a long time it would look weird if I insist on following their every move with a hawk stare ready to pounce forward to grab the phone if they try to touch the screen. :eek:
  9. I would have dialed the number and called, then tapped the power-button and handed it over to him. Then he would have to get through the password on the lock-screen to get into my phone, but he could still talk.

    That's how my htc desire work... haven't tried any other android phones yet...
  10. tempmail

    Thread Starter

    Yeah, me too.

    But on the laptop you can have multiple user accounts and you can encrypt all data within your account automatically.

    You also have a Guest account with full access to all the applications but without access to system settings or data belonging to other users.

    If you are writing a personal letter, and someone asks to borrow your laptop to check something online you just activate the Guest account, and they're ready to go, and when they're finished you re-enter your password and are back exactly where you were writing your letter.

    Is this possible with Android (being Linux based an all)?

    Is this kind of thing (guest account) something Cyanogenmod does or might offer?

    (The more I think about this the more tempting the idea of User Accounts become. Particularly for tablets. In my experience tablets are household items that everyone uses. Not nearly as personal items as a phone. It would be really nice if each family member or guests could have their own account on it.)
  11. landovr

    landovr Android Enthusiast

    This -----^^^^^
  12. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Android Expert

    If I give someone my phone, I go into create message or dialler for them first, and check used apps beforehand

    If things are untouched apart from the call or sent message... fine

    If not.. :mad:
  13. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    You hand him the Bluetooth headset, and you dial the number for him.
  14. gallandof

    gallandof Android Expert

    since i work for verizon im constantly showing people my phone, one of the things i do , is before giving them the phone i unmount the SD card, this takes care of pictures and also any apps that are on the sd card wont be accesible. since I use handcent this takes care of my texts pictures and apps.
    dan330 and cds0699 like this.
  15. ArmageddonX

    ArmageddonX Android Expert

    I dial the number for people and put it on speaker when they ask to borrow my phone. I'm also a germaphobe so _no way_ they're putting their germy hands all over my Smartphone LOL
  16. chrlswltrs

    chrlswltrs Extreme Android User

  17. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Android Expert

    I carry two phones - a Blackberry and Android. I've only had to loan out my phone once, I loaned out my Blackberry to a co-worker, and had no problems. Android - never!! :D
  18. cds0699

    cds0699 Android Expert

    Thank you for this tip, this actually sounds like a good thing to do.

    I can understand your situation, tempmail. I also really dislike letting anyone borrow my phone.
  19. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Android Expert

    A potential viable solution is to set up a temp gmail account, like loaneraccount123@Gmail.com. And if someone really needs to borrow your Android phone - do a NAND back up (if you're rooted with custom recovery), then do a factory wipe, and log into the loaner account, and loan the phone...

    It's a huge hassle, but I value my privacy too much to loan out my phone as is.
  20. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Oh yes they still exist.

    Beijing has tens-of-thousands of payphones, however I've yet to see anyone actually use one.

    BT in the UK also provides payphones, although they've been drastically reducing their numbers in recent years.
  21. Ok, at face value, assuming I did not know or trust the person, I would hand them my backup phone, which is just a dumb phone. I know most people don't have this option.

    IF it was my boss, I would hand him my phone and drive him to the hospital, my boss is a panickier.

    But looking at the deeper issues, of trust, right and wrong, and self reflection. Why would you have something on your "insert personal device" that you would be ashamed of? Is that a honest way to live your life? If you have a porn collection, and you are ashamed of it, should you really have something in your life that you are ashamed of?

    If you are having sex with the bosses daughter and you don't want to tell him, should you be in a relationship that is built under a lie?

    Sheakspeare said "This above all to thine own self be true." If you have something in your life that you can not share with your friends, assuming your boss is you friend, then you really need to reconsider your friends and you life. Honestly and self esteem are not words or ideas, they actually reflect how you interact with the world. Lies, deceit, and not trusting will only make you self destructive and bitter about yourself and those around you.

    Diogenes used to wonder around ancient Athens, naked, only holding a lamp, looking for a "honest man." Some times I wonder if we have the same problem on this forums.

    Bottom line, if you feel you need to have some much privacy, even from those that you "love" and "trust" you might need to change your behavior and your life style. You have to trust in life, and yes, some times trusting gets you hurt, but the human experience can not live an honest life with out a open and honest reflection of yourself and those around you.

    Now in saying all that, there are something, that I am contractually obligated to not let anyone see. They are always encrypted and require a password to access. Emails, are always protected and require a password. Contacts are locked using the standard company program.

    If you don't trust the person with your phone, you simply tell them no, you can not use my phone. And live with the consequences that your decision makes.
    Decibles likes this.
  22. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Android Expert

    There was a movie starring Harrison Ford (I think) where his wife is mortal danger. His wife loans her phone to a stranger, who uses it to make a call, and then accidentally turns it off while handing it back to the wife. Harrison Ford is unable to reach his wife via the cellphone and is frantically trying to figure out where she is to save her.

    I always remember that scene when loaning out my phone LOL.
  23. tempmail

    Thread Starter


    I understand your answer, and I understand your way of thinking, but I strongly disagree with your conclusions. The issues you raise strongly concern the very fabric of how modern human society works.

    Yes I agree that in a imaginary happy rosy paradise world where everyone can say anything to anyone and everyone are tolerant and respectful and do not exploit each other in any way privacy would be unnecessary. Unfortunately that is not the world in which most people live.

    I can give two broad issues where some people may need some privacy: Religion and politics (including internal family politics).

    I could mention countless examples where the complexities of human societies and relationships make it necessary to have some things in private.

    To just take a very basic (you may call it silly) example:
    "Do you close and lock the bathroom door when you go to the lavatory at your best friend's house? Why? What evil and despicable things do you do that require such privacy? You should be ashamed of yourself!"

    I warned you it was a silly example, but I challenge you to explain a basic difference between that and the broader issue of assuming "privacy = evil".

    Rant finished,,,
    Sorry about this digression.
    AndroidSPCS likes this.
  24. losteboye

    losteboye Lurker

    Maybe I'm too trusting, or maybe I'm not a business professional like some of you apparently are,

    but I would just give them the phone and let them use it, my natural assumption is that they're not going to look through your pics etc, specifically because they're in a situation where that would never happen. Leaving your phone on your desk where bored people are, is a completely different story though. :p

    Or maybe I just have too much faith in the good of people.
  25. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert

    Depends on the situation and person. To use the "boss" example in this thread, I'd let him use the phone and not worry about it. My boss isn't going to go through my phone for a phone call and I can keep an eye on him if I suspect that he would. Your boss may be different though. Why would you assume that there's a one-size-fits-all answer to this question? Do whatever you deem appropriate and whatever you're comfortable with.

    None stock that I know of. You might want to ask around in the Apps subforum for a solution. IIRC there are apps to password protect apps that might help.
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