Haven’s not the first app of its kind, but it just might be the best.
A quick search on the Play Store will show no shortage of surveillance/motion detection apps, and while some of these work alright, they’re not nearly as secure compared to a true security camera. Haven: Keep Watch is a new app that falls into this same category, but it does something special that helps it stick out from the crowd.
For starters, Haven is created by The Guardian Project and Freedom of the Press Foundation – the latter of which has Edward Snowden serving as its president. Haven is described as being “for people who need a way to protect their personal spaces and possessions without compromising their own privacy”, and this is where things get interesting.
Unlike most surveillance applications that can only make use of your phone’s camera and microphone, Haven is able to tap into all of its on-device sensors so that it can detect motion, sound, light, and even vibrations. As if that wasn’t enough, Haven combines these sensors while leveraging the likes of Signal and Tor to keep everything as secure as possible.
You can use Haven to choose what kind of things you want it to detect while the app is running, meaning that you can turn off the camera if you just want to place your phone on a table or in a drawer to detect sound rather than video.
Haven will push notifications to your primary phone when it detects an intrusion/disturbance, and you can access your Haven Log remotely to view everything that your phone picked up throughout the night or day.
It’s obvious that a lot of thought’s gone into Haven, and that’s a good thing as The Guadian Project and Freedom of the Press Foundation created the app with human rights defenders and investigative journalists in mind.
Haven’s designed to be used on a burner phone that you don’t use every single day, and you can download it from the Play Store right now. There may still be some bugs here and there seeing as the app’s launching as part of a public beta, but initial reviews on are immensely positive.