This one is more of a cool extra feature than it is helpful. It pretty much serves the same purpose as the “Manage Applications” under your Settings. It allows the user to see all the applications installed in the device, force close them and read their system resources (size, CPU usage, etc), as well as Privacy Info (permissions and what they mean).
It is possible to order the app list by name, size, memory, CPU and running apps. There’s also a “System Info” button, which pretty much directs you to your system settings (Manage Applications).
This is much like Lookout’s web phishing protection, which is included with their paid premium services. It basically searches every site you access for potential threats beforehand.
The internet is a very wild place, and even if you know your cellphone’s apps and files are secure, the web may not be. There are websites that attempt to get private information for fraudulent activities. With phishing protection accessing, surfing the web and clicking random links will be much safer.
After using this for weeks, I have not noticed any lag in the browser. Other services that offer this feature show a slight delay every time you access a website. It may not bother many, but it is nice to see that avast! has made the process rather smooth.
SMS & Call Filter
This is one of the most helpful features that the avast! app offers. The user can block incoming text messages and calls, as well as outgoing calls to/from specific phone numbers. For some reason it cannot block outgoing texts, though. Regardless, this is a very helpful feature.
The filter can be set by groups, and you can choose what time and days you want the phone number(s) to be blocked. It is also possible to toggle on/off outgoing calls and incoming texts and calls separately. If you happen to miss any important calls/texts, there’s also a log that informs you of all the times a call or text was blocked.
This turns out to be very convenient. Not only is it good for avoiding stalkers, or to prevent your parents or wife/husband from calling you during working/school hours, but it also works as a parental control tool. Yes, you can stop your kids from calling you (or anyone else) during school hours. Simply block the numbers you don’t want your kids sending or receiving texts and calls from, and you’re set.
The avast! app can be password protected, so it wouldn’t be possible for anyone else to change the settings. Unless, of course, the user uninstalls the avast! app. This loophole can be fixed if avast! were to include password protection for other apps (or if you use the firewall, which we will talk about in a bit). It would be a great addition in the future, but avast! currently focuses on security more than parental controls.
I have tested this feature and use it frequently. It works like a charm, and it has never failed me.
Firewall (Root Feature)
Everything mentioned above is great, but root features are what really makes avast! stand out from the crowd. The Firewall is only available for rooted devices, but it can be of great use if you have rooted your device.
There are countless reason why you might want to use this feature. The most notable include saving battery life and data consumption. Certain apps are battery/data hogs, and you may not want them running all the time. This Firewall allows you to stop these apps from running, whether it be through direct interaction or in the background.
This also helps as a parental control tool. It is definitely a good idea to stop your kids from accessing certain apps.
It would be amazing to see this feature work in non-rooted devices. This may be much more complicated to achieve, though. Wouldn’t it be nice to block all that bloatware? In my experience it worked very well, and I highly recommend it for root users.