App for tracking lost/stolen phone

Discussion in 'Android OS' started by abenn, Jan 20, 2011.

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  1. abenn

    abenn Mobile Deity

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    I read in the newspaper the other day that someone had been able to tell the police exactly where his stolen Android phone was because he'd just installed some kind of tracking app on it.

    I've checked the marketplace, and it seem like Lookout Mobile Security could be what he had.

    Has anyone here got experience with it? It must be running all the while if it's going to work, so does it use a lot of battery? Or any other significant disadvantages?
     
  2. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    Works fine for me. Doesn't really do anything that drains the battery since Lookout doesn't track your phone until you go to the website and ask it to. Yes, the phone must be on, but I never turn mine off anyway.
     
  3. internetpilot

    internetpilot Flying Dog (...duh...)

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    In the Market, Lookout Security was listed as a Sprint app for me (I guess that likely means a Sprint recommended app). Anyway, because of that, I downloaded it. Other than the phone location features I didn't think it would offer me anything else that I would use, and I'm currently partially right in that original prediction.

    I don't know how effective the antivirus function is -- it does scan everything I download and every app I install, but because I haven't received any warnings I have to either assume that I practice safe browsing, the Android Market is relatively safe, the non-Market apps I've downloaded are safe, or this app is a scam and not really doing anything (haha....?). But this is true of all antivirus apps. If they never catch anything, are they really working?

    I don't use the backup feature...yet. When I first installed the app I didn't really know whether or not it was legitimate itself, so I didn't want to have my data backing up to their website. I'd probably feel safe doing it now, but don't really feel the need. I probably will in the near future, as I'm using my Evo for my one and only work computer at the moment, so I'm starting to accrue some documents and data that I would care about losing.

    The location feature works very well. I don't typically leave my GPS radio turned on, but that doesn't matter because Lookout will turn it on remotely when you try to use that locate feature from their website. The locate by "siren" works well. So far, I've used this feature one time when I lost my phone in my house. I have tested it numerous times, and when I tested the GPS location feature, it was SCARY accurate, showing me the corner of my house where my phone was located (using Google Maps with Satellite overlay). At first I thought that you had to leave the GPS on all the time to use this feature, but discovered different when testing it. The only requirement is that your phone must be on and some sort of data service (wi-fi or mobile data) must be on. By the way, when it locates your phone via GPS, it will then turn off the GPS again. I thought that was a nice touch.

    I haven't upgraded to the paid version...yet. The only interest I personally have in upgrading is that you can remotely lock your phone so no one can use it until you can track it down. I think this also prevents anyone who may have stolen it from shutting it off or uninstalling the Lookout app, preventing the phone from being tracked/located. It's $30/year for the paid version, so it's not a trivial amount, but if you'll use the backup service and/or your phone is lost or stolen even one time, I personally think its worth it. I'll likely upgrade one of these days.

    I haven't noticed any battery more battery drain after installing this app. I used my Evo for about a week before installing Lookout, and nothing changed with regard to battery charge life and charge requirements.
     
  4. abenn

    abenn Mobile Deity

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    "... The only requirement is that your phone must be on and some sort of data service (wi-fi or mobile data) must be on. ..."

    Ahhh, I leave mobile data off, so it wouldn't work for me unless the thief went into Settings and turned it on.
     
  5. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    Norton also makes a security app. The beta is currently free--- don't know if it will stay that way. It allows you to wipe or lock your phone via SMS, which means it works even when data is off. It will also SIM lock your phone if you like, which apprently works very well because when I changed my account type on AT&T, Nortonlocked my phoneon me. :rolleyes: :D. Luckily, I just had to enter my secret password to let Norton know it was me.
     
  6. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    Just a note. I don't know if the US versions of the HTC phones with HTCsense.com will offer it; but it's a bit like Apple's MobileMe, and I think it does what you are looking for. And outside the US, it's free. This may not help your particular case though.
     
  7. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    I was just taking another spin with Norton and they have added a locate feature that is ingenious in that it does not require either data or wifi, just the voice and text capability. You send a text to your phone with "Locate <code>" in the message from any phone. You get a message back with a url you can hand-type into Google Maps and boom, there's your location. So as long as you phone is on, it actually works. A much better solution for thoose of us who use PAYG and only have Data on occasionally!
     
  8. internetpilot

    internetpilot Flying Dog (...duh...)

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    As a career network engineer, I have a very long history with Norton/Symantec. Off I go to try the Norton app!

    <Internetpilot is really loving the benefits of having a phone with the same OS as Hook again!>
     
  9. abenn

    abenn Mobile Deity

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    Norton sounds good. I'll have a look at it, and hope they don't charge too much when it comes out of beta.
     
  10. internetpilot

    internetpilot Flying Dog (...duh...)

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    In investigating at least the current beta of Norton, I notice something rather glaringly missing -- no website for tracking or managing or otherwise using the features of this app. How can I send my phone a text if my only mobile phone was stolen? And will I remember the code and format of what I'm supposed to send in a text? It seems to me that a service like this really needs a website, no?

    Am I missing something? I hope so, because I'd rather use a Norton product.
     
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