Apple removes app that allowed teens to hide photos behind a real calculator

Apple has yanked the Private Photos (Calculator%) app from the App Store. The app allowed users to hide secret photos behind a real functioning calculator, which made it a favorite among enterprising teenagers. U.K. police say that Private Photos (Calculator%) figures in a current investigation, and child welfare groups spoke out against it. The earliest complaint about the app dates back to 2015 when U.S. district attorney Pamela Casey warned parents about it on her Facebook page.

Experts on digital safety ripped Private Photos (Calculator%), placing it on a danger list aimed at parents. And the app topped the list of "10 Apps Teens are Using that Parents Need to Know," that was compiled by internet blogger App-solutely April. The other 9 apps that she suggests that parent acquaint themselves with include some pretty popular titles like Instagram and Snapchat. The list includes:

  • Calculator%, which looks like a calculator, but is more of a secret photo vault.
  • Omegle, a free online chat site.
  • Snapchat, one of the most popular messaging apps among teens.
  • Whisper, an app that promotes sharing secrets and meeting new people.
  •, an Q&A type of app often linked to cyberbullying.
  • Hot or Not, where strangers rate your profile.
  • Burn Book, an app for people to post anonymous rumors.
  • Wishbone, which allows users to compare kids against each other.
  • Kik, a messaging app that includes content that would be filtered on a home computer.
  • Instagram, a photo-sharing app where many teens are creating fake profiles.

With the Private Photos (Calculator%) app, users entered a four-digit code to unlock the hidden pictures. While the app is not found anymore in the App Store, it never was available in the Google Play Store; however, there are other titles that Android users can download that do the same thing.

source: BusinessInsiderApp-solutelyApril, SmartSocial via KMOV



1. lyndon420

Posts: 6818; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Sounds like a good app to use around a nosey spouse or if you let your kids play on your phone. But now I'm curious by this this further indication that the iPhone is designed for kids and teenagers? Concealed vault apps for pics and other stuff you want to keep secret aren't allowed by apple...seriously??

2. cmdacos

Posts: 4253; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

What's the justification for the remove?

7. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

No justification here! If the app stores the pictures in their own cloud, I could see the reason , but this should be mentioned in the article. It's not the case, though!

13. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 734; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Some teens tend to take a lot of perverted photos or videos on their smartphones. When the parents check the smartphone if there's an illicit photos and videos of porns or upskirts. Those apps are generally design to hide those photos and videos.

16. cmdacos

Posts: 4253; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

You're talking about a low percentage of teens. That's not justification for removal.

17. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 734; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

@cmdacos Then tell me. What photos does teens hides from their parents? What's the reason to download this app? P.S. If you're telling me that this is used for cheating. Then you also represent the low percentage of teens. Why do you think that in the picture. There's a womens leg on the bottom right corner of the logo?

18. der_damo

Posts: 213; Member since: Sep 16, 2014

The app is doing something that is not its actual purpose (hiding PHOTOS behind a CALCULATOR). That's in the App Store Guidelines and honestly understandable.

3. samgsam

Posts: 149; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

Apple wants them to store their nudes on the iCloud so that they can get leaked again.

5. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Or sell the pictures??:) Or one day if they try to go for politics, to blackmail them

4. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

I couldn't understand the reason, why this app is banned??? Not only kids could hide pictures from the parents with this app, but also parents from the kids. Right? What is different if hide content with FPScanner? (private mode) Am I dumb? Or Apple are dumb? Please explain!!!

6. Rager722 unregistered

Parents, if you're worried about your kids don't stupid s*** than, actually step up and be a parent.

8. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Awwwwww. A typo & incorrect use of a conjunction. A for effort, though.

9. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Apple removes app that allowed iPhone users to hide photos behind a real calculator. *fixed

10. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1575; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Teens sent nudes before we all had cell phones and fancy apps, I got mine via email or saw it on webcam. Life was great before iOS/Android showed up.

12. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

No, life was great before stupid people who use their phones/social media accounts to get attention started using iOS/Android.

14. trueheart99

Posts: 24; Member since: Oct 05, 2017

And I was like thinking, did school allow them to use phone's calculator whereby they hide the formula or answers in jpg behind the calculator. Oh.... nudes.... i hope they do know about websites that have those things and private mode of browser. And after the parents aquainted themselves with those apps, let's see who's hiding stuff from their spouse.

15. jay2018

Posts: 15; Member since: Mar 14, 2018

I think this is good news as this app could prevent parents from seeing what their children are up to, with many children taking and saving inappropriate photos and videos this app would have allowed children to get away with it. Real Media Now Ltd

19. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

I'm not a kid, and have used such apps for pictures that other ppl(or children) should not see, if they use my phone. So??? BTW now I use 'private mode' with FPS . Should it be banned too, just because kids with such phones could use it too????.

20. Lauticol

Posts: 404; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

This is complete nonsense. Also, why the video promotes spying on student's phones? Is that even legal?

21. cmdacos

Posts: 4253; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Yet apple allowed the app for 3 years before a police investigation was brought forward. Must have had an IAP...

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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