Jon asked: “My wife and I share photos sometimes on our phones for gifts that we want to buy for our kids. I was wondering, since the kids like to play with the phones, is there any way, on an Android phone, that I can hide photos? Is there a secret folder I can put those in? or a way to disassociate the photo app from seeing those photos?”
If you happen to be on Android 6.0, the option is baked in. Just choose hide, set a pin, and you’re done.
Otherwise, depending on how involved you want to get, there are a couple of solutions you can look at. You can technically use a file manager to create a hidden folder, just start the folder name with “.”
For example, “.private” will be a hidden folder. You can also put a “.nomedia” file inside that folder that would tell gallery apps “don’t bother looking in here.” However, you can just go the easy way and use one of the many private picture hiding apps, almost all of which will also let you set a pin.
KeepSafe Vault will both hide and encrypt your pictures and it is free to download, but it does offer in-app purchases. You can also try “Hide Pictures Photo Safe”, it’s free, no in app purchases, and it will hide those photos.
You could also just not store those pictures on your phone, obviously… Just view & share them and then …. delete them.
You could also move the photos to a cloud storage system. Google Drive, which you have for free with Android, now integrates Google Photos for easy upload. You could have a small, free Dropbox account. Microsoft’s OneDrive is also free and stores photos.
Once you move a photo into the cloud storage, delete it from the phone’s camera roll. Your kids would need to get into your cloud storage app, and chances are they won’t even think to look there.
As a side benefit, this moves the storage of the pictures into the cloud and cuts down on how much of your smartphone’s memory that you’re using.