Saturday, March 3, 2012

Find Or Wipe Your Android Phone Remotely Using Android Lost [2.2+]

Android phone. That, or maybe you have once lost your Android and you now wish to have a better plan in place to find it, erase things and disable it, if it happens again. Once you get thinking about these things you realise there’s a few good options out there, but it’s still worth knowing which ones are the best and why. Here’s one of the best I’ve seen yet.
Android Lost (for Android 2.2+) is an extremely well thought-out application. If your phone is lost, this will do the trick for all of your security needs: you can locate the phone by GPS, wipe your phone, erase your SD card, forward your calls, start an alarm, lock your phone, lock your SIM card and more. Basically, you get all the possible tools available to find your phone, secure it from prying eyes or wipe all data altogether. Top that with the fact that you can install this application from the Android Market and use most features AFTER you’ve lost the phone, makes this a killer application.

Get Started

Install Android Lost from the Android Market and then you’ll be able to control it from the Android Lost website by logging in with your Google login. This is a neat way to ensure the right phone is being controlled remotely.
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Register the phone by either starting the application on your phone or by sending an SMS with the message “androidlost register” to your phone. Once both of these steps are completed, you’ll see a “congratulations” message pop up on the website, letting you know you’re now remotely connected to your phone.
If you want to be able to do a remote lock or wipe your phone you must install this in advance and verify that you wish the application to “request administrator rights”. If you’re unsure of leaving this power in the hands of an application accessed by a Google login, there’s no reason to give it administrator rights. Just click “exit” here instead.
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Also note that Android Lost is still in beta and the website is working on function rather than form at this stage.

Find Your Phone

All of Android Lost’s features can be controlled with the Control page.
If you’ve just lost your phone, the first thing you’d want to check is if it’s nearby. If your phone’s on silent you’ll never hear it when you call, but using Android Lost you can start the alarm sounding, which will work even if the phone’s on silent. Handy!
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Next, you might try sending your phone’s GPS location to your phone. You can also toggle the GPS and WiFi settings on some handsets using this application, but these functions aren’t part of the official API and might not work on all phones. If your phone is one which can’t use remote GPS and Wi-Fi toggles, check out the SMS commands available in the security controls. You can also send the phone’s status to your email, including the battery level and IMEI number.
You might also decide it’s worth leaving a pop-up message for the person who has found your phone. This is perfect if you think you’re still fairly close nearby or it’s not likely to be left anywhere dangerous.
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Getting Your Messages & Calls While The Phone Is Lost

Another extremely useful feature is that you can get your last 10 SMS messages sent to your email. If you know your phone operator’s forwarding keys you can also set your phone up to forward your calls to another number. If you were planning to meet people or have something urgent you’ve been waiting for, this is a lifesaver.

Locking & Wiping Your Phone Remotely

The most paranoid security feature is the remote wipe. Paradoxically, if you’re going to be paranoid enough to remotely wipe your phone you’re probably also likely to be paranoid enough to have not given Android Lost the administrator rights to do so earlier on. It’s tough, but who do you trust least? Android Lost? People who might use Android Lost with your Google login? Or the people who have found or stolen your phone? Your choice. Decide before you lose your phone!
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