No one plans to lose their mobile phone by having their car window smashed in, or forgetting their phone in a taxi or restaurant, or having it slip out of your pocket when sitting somewhere unusual. There are countless ways to lose your phone; some are too funny to believe but smart thinking now or the moment you lose you phone can help you track down your lost device or at very least protect your personal information. Unlike the Apple’s “Find my iPhone” or Microsoft’s “Find my Phone”, Google does not have a native way to track down a lost Android smartphone. However, there are many apps for Android that can provide similar functionality to Windows Phone or the iPhone. And, because you have choices, you can choose the one that works best for you.
Plan B is designed for those of you who never plan for losing a smartphone. Lets assume you have ignored all suggestions to password protect your phone and now you have no clue where it is. Just go to the Google Market on your desktop web-browser and deploy Plan B to your Android Smartphone and instantly you get an email to your Gmail account configured on your phone stating “Lookout Plan B has started locating. You should have your location shortly.” Hopefully seconds later (if your phone is still powered on) you will get an email stating ,”Lookout Plan B has located your phone within 33m of…”
Plan B is a retroactive plan for when you lose your smartphone and it is completely free. You only need to remember to hit the Google Market and deploy Plan B to your Android handset. Now if you plan ahead and install Plan B you can just send an SMS to your phone with the word ‘locate’ and it will send you an email with the phone location.
Plan for a Lost Phone
There are numerous free apps like Where’s my Droid or iHound which both work great. The only problem is if you are like most smartphone users and want to preserve you battery life then you likely turn the GPS off when it is not needed making the job of these apps difficult if not impossible. Being able to locate your phone is one thing but remotely wiping or locking your phone can also be accomplished. You can also keep in mind that leaving your GPS turned on really should not use any battery at all. In Android OS, it is designed to be enabled, but not running until an app requests it to function and then after it is done, it should go away. Yes, sure, sometimes it doesn’t go away like it should, but that should be fairly rare, and the benefits of having it available if you should need it from remote are great. Just a thought.
For a subscription fee, MacAfee offers WaveSecure which can remotely backup, wipe, lock, or locate your device. iHound essentially does everything WaveSecure does for free except it cannot remotely backup your device. There are tons of choices but you can either plan for a lost device now or use Plan B later.