Features & Use
Transparent Screen Camera has many different features, all of which seem to be based around the general idea of spying and hiding the true intentions of what you are doing on your Android device.
The first function you encounter is the capability of making your screen appear transparent by using either the phone’s front or back cameras. It won’t make the screen 100% transparent, so you are still able to see what you are pressing on to a certain extent. The degree of transparency can be adjusted after this mode has been started; the app recommends starting with 50% and then increasing the opacity. Pressing the start button evidently starts the transparency mode. In order to get out of this, you swipe down to open the notification panel which displays the choice to end the Free TSP. There is also the option of rotating the camera preview image as well.
When you are using a transparent screen, you can do a few things, one of which is being able to see who is behind you in case someone is sneaking a peak over your shoulder. On top of that, you can take pictures without the targeted person noticing, either by triggering the camera app and pressing the trigger button as usual or by setting a timer in the settings of the app. Turning off the capture sound adds discreteness. I also need to point out that this app is full of spelling mistakes, like “automaticly” and “prview”. I feel like this is something they could have checked.
The pictures you take are hidden so that no one will be able to take a look. In order to access these hidden pictures, you need to open the picture folder, click on all the pictures and export them. Clicking on them within the app will show a different picture that works as a facade. Another optional “spy” feature is the fake app that will appear when someone or you enter an incorrect password. If someone types in something wrong, it will bring that person to a fake note taking app which shows a message that you can prepare beforehand. Pressing back will bring you to the password entry page once again.
The app settings give you the following options:
- Show Camera Preview
- Take pictures automatically: when the picture is being taken, the app will display “mission started” and “mission accomplished” when done. You can set the number of seconds at which interval the picture is taken and these messages will appear over and over on your screen.
- Disable Camera Sound
- Hide the App icon in the launcher: if you don’t want someone to know that you are using this app, it allows you to hide it.
- Show notification: This will show you when an image has been saved.
- Enable Vibrator Notification
- Use Front Camera: like mentioned elsewhere in the review, you need to close the app completely for this to work.
- Hide pictures automatically
- Add .nomedia to iHC folder
- Stop the preview when app is restarted
From my list of points to criticize, I found it cumbersome that when switching from the front to back camera (or vice versa), you need to close out completely from the app and open it anew; simple in-app camera switching would have been a lot more user-friendly. I also don’t like all of the ads that, in my opinion, flood this app. The Transparent Spy Camera app’s selling points are: 1. Impressing your friends and 2. Spying 3. Hiding your pictures. This app won’t be for everyone and is a gimmick for a couple of times, but if the three mentioned points are important to you, then you might actually make use of it.
Screen & Controls
The free version of Transparent Screen Camera has a copious amount of ads, whether they are in pop-up windows or at the top part of the interface, which actually makes it difficult to use the app, as you find yourself ‘x’ing out of all the ads to get to the features. It seemed that every time I went to another part of the app, an ad would pop up. The controls are divided into two sections, the main Transparent screen page and the settings page, which are accessible via two tabs found mid-page under the permanent on-screen ads. This entire app is based around illusion, so navigating through the app at first isn’t really intuitive since pictures are hidden under other fake ones, while the real ones need to be exported to view. The pictures are taken automatically by the app. When trying to get into the camera app on the phone, the latter failed.
Speed & Stability
The app alludes to the fact that it doesn’t run as well on Android 3.0 or earlier, especially when attempting to set the transparency to another resolution. On my Galaxy S3, I obviously didn’t have this problem. It also mentions right off the get-go that this app might not work for everyone on any Android version, and that if I won’t open, your software isn’t able to support it. They didn’t really go into more detail in this regard. Also, I found that if the opacity level of the transparency was not set lower, I would need to press start for it to start a few times where it sometimes didn't work at all.
Our app in question today, Free Transparent Screen Camera, can be installed for free from the Google Play Store. There is a full version which gets rid of the ads, though it’s not obvious which other features it would bring with it. The ads are indeed quite cumbersome, but I would try the free version first before plunging into the premium one.
As I mentioned before, if you are into all these tricky features of hiding what you are looking at on your display as well as the picture which you are taking and want to spy on who is behind you, Free Transparent Screen Camera is an interesting idea for an app that you should try. Though the reviews on Google Play express either love or hate (and not much in between), for those complaining about it not working, you were at least warned by the developer that it might not be compatible with certain devices. I would recommend that the developers get rid of some of the ads, as they are a little overwhelming. User-friendliness is not this app’s strong point, so for this reason also, fewer ads would help this factor. All in all, this app, which has already accumulated more than 500 million + installs, is a good gimmicky app, as they say in the app’s description, to impress your friends. I rate this app two stars because there is still a lot to improve on.