Ever feel like you could really do with having a malware scanning app on your iPad / iPhone? If so, you may be glad to know that VirusBarrier hit the App Store this week.
VirusBarrier is touted as an on-demand malware scanning app for the iPad and iPhone. Because of the way iOS is locked down, it cannot do automatic scanning of files – but it can be used to scan files that you receive as email attachments, ‘other files you have access to on your device’, and files stored in remote locations like MobileMe and Dropbox.
The developers of VirusBarrier rightly point out that while there is currently no known malware affecting iOS, attachments and files shared to computers from iOS devices may spread malware.
Here’s the feature list for VirusBarrier:
– On-demand scans of files received by e-mail, on remote locations, or on iOS devices
– Scans files for Mac, Windows and Unix viruses and malware
– Scans files for spyware, Trojan horses, adware, hacker tools, dialers, keyloggers and more
– Scans ZIP archives
– Repairs infected files
– Scans email attachments*, files downloaded from Safari*, and files accessed by apps supporting inter-app file transfers*.
– Scans remote locations, such as DropBox, iDisks and WebDAV shares
– Scan websites for known phishing URLs, web threats, and malware hosting
– Automatically updates malware definitions
– Completes scans in the background
– Keeps logs of scans
– Includes a 1-year subscription to malware definitions
That’s a decent sounding feature set. I’ve been giving the app a quick trial run today; and I’m not sold on its usefulness just now. It does appear to be able to scan PDF files as email attachments or via other apps on the iPad. It also did OK at scanning some .txt, .zip, and .jpg files from within the Dropbox app.
The thing is though, because of the way iOS works, VirusBarrier is quite limited in what it can do. For instance it is capable of scanning image files, but not when they are attachments in the Mail app, because they don’t offer an ‘Open In’ option. Like all 3rd party apps, VirusBarrier has to rely on ‘Open In’ as its entry pass for performing its on-demand scans in most cases.
Between how limited the app’s scope is due to iOS restrictions (which help keep iOS secure and free of malware) and the fact that there just hasn’t been any malware yet written for iOS, I can’t see VirusBarrier being useful for me. Perhaps it will be for some.
Here’s an App Store link for VirusBarrier; it’s priced at $2.99 with a year’s free subscription to malware definition updates.
Do you feel like you need a malware scanner for your iPad?