How to Use Android Safely on the Street Using Iris

Just like air, water, and food, the smartphone has become a vital entity in our lives. We just can’t help but stay glued to its screen from dawn to dusk, or sometimes even till midnight. While commuting, having lunch, at a boring party or an entertaining night out with friends, we always fall back to our smartphones every couple of minutes – like a behavior coded into our genes that we just can’t ignore.

Phone Additiction
Smartphone addition can be dangerous. Shutterstock

But this can be pretty dangerous on streets, malls and public areas, stairs and escalators. In fact, organizations have come up with banners issued for public safety to restrict phone messaging in public areas. While you are continuously staring at your phone’s screen, you don’t know what’s coming ahead and what you might step on.

If it’s really necessary for you to use your phone while walking, make sure you use the Iris app on your Android. It will act as your eyes and make your phone’s screen translucent so you will be able to see through the screen.

No sorcery going on here! The app will just turn on your back camera and show you the live feed on your screen while you are working on any app. Sounds pretty interesting, I know, so let’s install the app and check out how exactly it works.

Iris Walk While Using Any App

Iris: Walk While Using Any App for Android

Iris: Walk While Using Any App is available on the Play Store for free and can be installed on any Android phone. The app doesn’t require any special privileges and works on top of any app you use.

The first time you launch Iris, it will activate itself with a 50% opacity and you will be able to see anything that’s visible through your back camera on your screen. Adjust the opacity depending on your requirements, I prefer around 30% opacity.

At the bottom there’s a line that says Camera Barrier and you can control the area of the screen that will show the camera feed. Simply drag it up or down depending on your personal choice and click on the option Enable Iris. 

Iris For Android 1

You will now see the live camera feed on any screen you work on. This will make sure you don’t walk into trouble while using the phone. While Iris is turned on, you will be able to change the opacity level using the notification drawer, the only place on Android where Iris is not able to display the camera feed.

To change the barrier control, you will have to close Iris and rerun it to make the necessary changes.

Iris For Android 3
Iris For Android 4

So that was pretty much it about the free app. The pro version for just $0.99 gives you the ability to pop out the Iris frame and drag it anywhere on the screen along with the ability to apply filters. Well, not filters like the ones we know from Instagram. Instead, these filters will help you to see in different lighting conditions. One can choose from Night, Solar, Mono, Aqua, or Poster.

The developer has provided some important notes for Iris users and I just can’t help but quote them for our readers here.

Important Notes:
• NEVER use Iris to text or use apps while driving. It is stupid, dangerous, and unlawful.
• ALWAYS look both ways before crossing the street. Iris has very limited peripheral vision – you will not see objects coming from your sides.
• DO NOT wear headphones if using Iris while walking in the street. Iris limits your peripheral vision, which is why it is good to have other senses available.


Iris is indeed one of a kind and the neat part about it is that it works on our existing apps. There were some similar apps in the past, but they forced the user to change the default keyboard and messaging application. But Iris works on WhatsApp, emails, and even while playing games. Battery life will be compromised, but then again you get safety in return. So try out the app today and share your views with us in the comments.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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