The premise that Snapchat doesn’t save your data has always been suspicious. Even their pseudo-admission didn’t do much to assuage everybody’s worry that users’ (dirty) pictures are still somewhere on their phones – in their blog post, Snapchat alluded to the possibility of retrieving deleted data. In that regard, KS Mobile updates Clean Master – a cleaning utility app for Android – to include complete deletion of Snapchat photos.
Available on Google Play, Clean Master was primarily designed to increase an Android phone’s memory and performance by efficiently cleaning cache, residual files, and privacy data as well as uninstalling apps that are not being utilized. In the case of Snapchat, photos are not exactly deleted but rather converted to unencrypted files by adding a .nomedia extension, making your photos easily retrievable by anyone with the capability to navigate through your phone – all they have to do is go into /data/data/com.snapchat.android/cache/received_image_snaps, delete the .nomedia extension, and voilà … incriminating images brought back from the dead! Additionally, the snaps taken by users and saved onto their phones’ SD card prior to sending are also exposed because they are retained in your phone even after uninstalling Snapchat. The recent Clean Master update aims to take care of all that, even deleting the saved snaps you may have forgotten about.
“When news broke out recently that Snapchat photos could be recovered, we naturally took a keen interest in this and even speculated that our product already made Snapchat photo recovery unlikely,” says Adam Morley, Product Manager of Clean Master, at KS Mobile. “After a full investigation, we found that with a minor tweak we could quickly customize our operations to clear out the .nomedia Snapchat files and help ensure the privacy of our users.”
There are two ways of using Clean Master to eradicate all traces of Snapchat photos from your phone: you can manually clear them out through the Privacy or History Eraser functions of the app. The History Eraser is mainly used to clean your phone’s cache and residual files, freeing up gigabytes worth of space. The Privacy function lists all the sensitive material in your phone like text messages, search history, passwords, browser bookmarks and history, emails, clipboard data, app data, and yes, Snapchat private photos.
Other Clean Master functions include: Task Killer and Memory Booster, to stop tasks running in the background that eats up your phone’s memory, speed, and battery life; App Manager, to backup, uninstall, and/or move your apps to the SD card; and Apps-to-SD capability for rooted devices that have external SD cards.
Clean Master is built for Android 2.3 and up and is also one of the highest rated free utility apps on Google Play, with a 4.7 rating (out of 5) from over 300,000 reviews.