Android Privacy Guard

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This article is about the OpenPGP compatible Android app. It is not to be confused with the permission management app Privacy Guard in Cyanogenmod.
Android Privacy Guard
Initial release June 3, 2010 (2010-06-03)
Stable release 1.1.1 (March 24, 2014; 2 years ago (2014-03-24)[1]) [±]
Written in Java (programming language)
Operating system Android (operating system)
License Apache License 2.0p

Android Privacy Guard (APG) is a free and open source software application that runs on the Android operating system. The application provides strong, user-based encryption which is compatible with the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) programs. This allows users to encrypt, decrypt, sign, and verify signatures for text, emails, and files.

The application allows the user to store the credentials of other users with whom they interact, and to encrypt files such that only a specified user can decrypt them. In the same manner, if a file is received from another user and its credentials are saved, the receiver can verify the authenticity of that file and decrypt it if necessary.

The specific implementation in APG relies on the Spongy Castle APIs.


After its initial release in June 2010,[2] it has gained a strong following with over 2000 reviews and over 100,000 installs from the Google Play store.[3] Several tutorials have been written which instruct new users in how to set up APG on an Android phone.[4][5] These tutorials generally reference APGs interaction with the K-9 Mail Android e-mail client.[6][7]


Between December 2010 and October 2013 no new version of APG was released.[8] In the light of the global surveillance disclosures this lack of development was viewed critically by the community.[9] In September 2013 a fork of APG was released, version 2.1 of OpenKeychain.[10] Some of the new features and improvements were subsequently merged back to APG. However, this process stopped in March 2014, while the OpenKeychain project continued to release new versions.[11] As of February 2016 the development of OpenKeychain is more active than that of APG.[12] Notable features of OpenKeychain include a modern user interface, support for NFC and the YubiKey NEO.[13]


  1. ^ "Android Privacy Guard". 2014-03-24. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  2. ^ "Release Announcement". Android Privacy Guard. Developer of Android Privacy Guard. 2010-06-03. Retrieved 2015-01-21. 
  3. ^ "APG - Android Apps on Google Play". Android Play Store. Google. 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2015-01-21. 
  4. ^ "Setting up Android Privacy Guard + Bouncy Castle from scratch". I'm Curious. HaoQi Li. 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2015-01-21. 
  5. ^ "Android Privacy Guard (APG) for Android Devices". Security in a Box. Security in a Box Project. 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2015-01-21. 
  6. ^ "K-9 Mail and APG for Android Devices". Security in a Box. Security in a Box Project. 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2015-01-21. 
  7. ^ "How To: Lockdown your mobile e-mail". The Guardian Project. The Guardian Project. 2010-07-09. Retrieved 2015-01-21. 
  8. ^ "APG release history". The APG Project. thialfihar. 2015-03-26. Retrieved 2015-03-26. 
  9. ^ "Filed bug against APG at the PRISM Break project". PRISM Break. Retrieved 2015-03-26. 
  10. ^ "OpenKeychain release history". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Releases · open-keychain/open-keychain". Retrieved 22 February 2016. 
  12. ^ "Readme of APG at Github". thialfihar. Retrieved 26 March 2015. APG definitely has some catching up to do. :) 
  13. ^ "About OpenKeychain". Retrieved 26 March 2015. 

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Software reviews and tutorials[edit]