TimePIN: constantly changing lockscreen PIN provides extreme security

by: Jonathan FeistFebruary 10, 2014

TimePIN Lockscreen

For many Android users, device security is extremely important; whether to protect personal data or corporate secrets, enabling lockscreen authentication is the first step to preventing unauthorized use. For many, the Android Pattern Lock is favored, but passwords, PINs, and more are available. These are all great, until stranger danger peeps over your shoulder and finds out your PIN is 1111. If this threat is unacceptable to you, the solution may be to make your PIN ever changing!

TimePIN is an application that modifies your lockscreen PIN to a new value every minute! Prying eyes will never compromise your device security.

How this works – TimePIN is a small application that constantly modifies your PIN to a value based on the time, as the name implies. The default method is pretty simple, if the time is 9:34, your PIN is 0934. The free version of the app includes a Modifier option to change it to the reverse, so at 14:45 your PIN would be 5441 (12 and 24 hour clocks supported.)

A $1.99 in-app upgrade unlocks Mirroring, Doubling and Offset settings. Mirroring turns 12:34 into PIN 12344321, Doubling turns 12:34 into PIN 12341234 and Offset turns your PIN to 1200 if you have a -34 offset in place at 12:34. Check out their demo video to see it in action.

This is not a lockscreen replacement, the app simply modifies your security settings. There are safeguards – in the event that you forget what technique you are using, just reboot and you will be able to use a default password, as set when you first install TimePIN. A few users report getting random lockouts, the only one I could find is in turning on the screen and the time changing before entering the PIN. It appears the PIN is set when the screen turns on, so simply turn the screen off and on again then recalculate your PIN from there.

Do you use lockscreen security? Does TimePIN sound like it will work for you, or do you require more granular control as can be found with Tasker and Secure Settings installed?

  • MasterMuffin

    This is genius! The others aren’t that secure if someone knows that you have time pin, but the offset is great

    • Jonathan Feist

      Absolutely MasterMuffin, a very worthy app for great security. Too bad I prefer my Pattern Lock.

      • MasterMuffin

        Pattern lock is faster and better outside when trying to unlock and your screen brightness is down, but I love this idea so much that I’ll keep using this :)

      • Mossy

        The dev is supposedly working on a pattern modifier, not sure how that will be implemented though. A DatePin has also been added. Mirror and doubling has been set for free

    • Aniruddh

      As long as others don’t figure out that you are using the app (no reason for them to figure that out unless you give them access to your phone yourselves). This is also perfect for people who keep forgetting their PINs.

      • MasterMuffin

        That’s true!

  • najiy91

    creative devs!

    • max

      this is just copied/ported from an iOS Jailbreak Developer, who had the idea.

  • Intelligent idea! However, if the person knows about this app, then it would be easy for the person to unlock it.

    • Jonathan Feist

      Hey Abhishek, if you use the Offset option, the person would have to know that you are using the app AND what your offset it.

  • DarxideGarrison

    I think I’ll try this out

  • apianist16

    What I want to see is a security app that allows you to alternate your pin based on the time of day, not the actual time.

    • Jonathan Feist

      That is interesting apianist16, is this a personal preference or do you see a benefit to your idea?

      • apianist16

        I think the benefit of this would be that if someone sees you type your PIN and you were unaware, it would not give them unlimited access to your device. And then maybe there could be a lockout if the wrong time-related PIN is used too many times.

  • Christian Harris

    Seems cool. I was playing around with my friend’s phone, and I think patterns are really the best at security. My friends who used number looks are way easy because they always use their birthday or “0000”.

  • Numan

    HELP… I installed it and it was working fine but I have restarted my phone and it doesn’t unlock my even with my default pass that I set the first time.

    Any ideas on how to unlock it?

    • Jen

      hey Numan, im having the same problem. did you ever find out how to unlock it ?

      • Reuben


  • Jen

    what if you forgot your default PIN number ?

  • Hello Android Authority, this app is no longer in play store :(, am I missing something here?

  • reuben

    help! standard pin wont work and im locked out ):