So I was playing basketball with some friends about a month or so ago. My buddy LOVES his iPhone and literally cannot separate himself from it for more than just a few minutes. So were at the gym playing ball and we didn’t notice it but some kids were hanging around our stuff in one corner of the gym. When we were done playing his phone was gone. Stolen. We knew what the kids looked like and everything but could not do anything about the stolen phone. He was just out 400 bucks. Bad day.
Enter Mobile Defense For Android (also available for Blackberry ….but not the iPhone). It took first place in the android developer challenge in the security category, for a bunch of reasons but to really understand its power you need to try it yourself. Its free.
Installing the Mobile Defense application and setting it up is really easy. You however will need a computer to get everything to the point that you can actually use and enjoy the application.
After you have downloaded and installed the application it will prompt you to sign in, both online and on the phone itself. Then once both accounts are created and everything is all set up the application will ask you to reboot the phone. At which point the icon will disappear from your pull up menu housing all your applications at the bottom of your screen and there will be no way to know that it is installed on your phone until you access a more administrative menu such as the one used to uninstall applications.
Now for the fun part. After logging in to the dashboard on their website and signing in to your account, the real power of the application is there at your fingertips. it will give you the option to connect with the device. Clicking that button prompts Mobile Defense’s server to send a text message to the phone activating a secure remote session with the phone itself thru the application.
From there your phone is just a click away. You have the ability to see a real time GPS location of your phone and it is displayed in a Google maps window. You also have a few other options…. It will tell you what network the phone is running on, its battery level, whether or not it is charging, how strong of a signal it is sending, its lattitude, longitude, and it will indicate how fast the phone is traveling.
The alarm feature in this application is in my estimation the most useful feature of the entire app. In the event you believe your phone is stolen you have the option to set off a ONE TIME SILENCE-ABLE alarm. Basically it sounds like a car alarm going off in someones pocket. That really caught my attention because imagine finding the phone on the embarrassed theif because you set off its alarm. But to me the more likely application of this feature would be; you realize your phone has been misplaced and rather that having your buddy call it over and over again you can set off the alarm that rings loudly and obnoxiously for as long as the phone has battery life to sustain it.
Upon seeing this message the user does have the option to silence the phone, and contact you. Also, its up to you what to write in the message that is sent to the phone, you can change it and update it and tweak it all in real time.
So then i wanted to test, if i were to steal this phone and it were to go off, I would be interested in immediately silencing it and walking away. So i looked into how to defeat the alarm and i came up with one solution. Turn off the phone. Or push the silence button. I tried to just deactivate the ringer that will work only once), and i tried to adjust the volume of the phone down, but to no avail. The only way to defeat this app, is to turn off the phone. That will immediately end all tracking and alarms and texts received by the phone. But as soon as the phone is turned back on it is fully controllable again. For me however, the main functionality of this app will be finding it in the couch at a friends house or in a car under the seat or something. Luckily we have few opportunities in our lifetimes to chase down phone criminals and bring them to justice.
Download Mobile Defense in the market, its free, adware free, and almost flawlessly functional.