If you care at all about your phone, you should have a “Find My Phone” app installed.
Why should you install a “Lost Phone” app?
- Your phone has sensitive personal information in it.
- If you browse the internet on your phone, if could have account login credentials. (Banks, emails)
- Many people put their company’s emails on their phones.
- You’d rather try recovering your phone before spending a few hundred $ on a new one.
So which app should you install?
iPhone “Lost Phone” Apps
- Find My iPhone (Free) (Only for iPhones running iOS 4.2 or greater.)
– Limited, Basic Feature Set
– WARNING: If you use this, it only takes a thief a few seconds to remove your MobileMe profile from your iDevice. If your MobileMe account is removed, Find My iPhone stops working, and your phone is gone forever.
IF YOU USE Find My iPhone: Turn on your device’s Restrictions in Settings -> General -> Restrictions. This allows you to add an additional Pin code that prevent uses from doing many things (with the important setting of preventing users to Remove Accounts).
- iLocalis (~$6/Year)– JAILBROKEN iPhone Only+ Can set the program to not allow it to be uninstalled!
+ MANY more features than Find My iPhone offers.
- Link to a blog post with a comparison of two other apps vs Find My iPhone
Android “Lost Phone” Apps
Due to Android’s open marketplace and open source nature, there are many more options for apps like these.
I was trying to find a good program, and these were my thoughts on a few of these programs.
- SeekDroid ($0.99)– The fact that it’s this cheap gives me concern about the longevity of the product, but it worked great.
– No SMS support though.
+ Even worked without any simcard in (using wifi as the internet connection at that point).
- Lookout Mobile – Free (Premium is $3/mo, $30/year)
+ At $30 a year, this actually seemed like a decent price, for a trusted company.
+ It’ll also scan your software for spyware
+ Some backup features.
+ Didn’t say “SuperUser” app was spyware (unlike AVG, mentioned below).
- Plan B (Free)
+ Plan B is the only Android app that you can install after your phone is stolen, to try to get it back.
- Prey – Free (Pro is $5/month)
The free version only reports your phone’s information back in 20 minute intervals. That’s not very helpful if I lose my phone.
- AVG Mobilization aka Anti-Virus Free/Pro ($10)
– Not impressed how the app treated the “SuperUser” rooted app as a threat.
– Not impressed with the App scanning, as it just tells you you “have a problem” without specifically listing what those are.
~ Pro version only gets rid of ads and adds support.
~ Tied to Google Account for login, no user account creation.
– Able to be uninstalled easily. :(
+ Free version can track your location and wipe device.
– Phone “lock” is using an app, not the OS locking.
The Unknown (Ones I didn’t actually test on my phone)
- Cerberus ($3)
+ DEEP Integration into the Android OS, allowing it to be installed in ROMs and is resilient to work despite trying to uninstall it.
+ Works over Data and SMS. Few of the other apps could do this.
+ Many other features, and if I wasn’t ok with SeekDroid, I’d switch to this.
– The website was very bare, lacked info until I dug around a bit. The developer’s site is available here, and responded to a tweet asking who maintains the app.
- McAffe WaveSecure ($20/year)
– Reviews of this product were very poor on the Android Marketplace. Most users reflected poor service after McAffe bought the company that made this app.
- Norton Mobile Security (Free during Beta)
– I wouldn’t trust the security of my device to a piece of beta software.
- ESET Mobile Security BETA
Same as above…
+ Good Root Support.
– Austrian company, don’t know much about.
The most important part is that you have one of these apps installed on your phone BEFORE it gets stolen.
Read through the options and find the one that looks best to you.