I believe that some of you have gone through the super annoying experience of having your mobile device stolen. This blog post is dedicated to you guys.
Last week I had to go through something similar when my mom’s phone was stolen. It turns out that the device wasn’t locked with a PIN code and had no tracking app installed. Since it was so poorly secured, there was not much we could do to get it back. I was thinking to myself: “The phone was stolen! Now what?”
As you probably imagine, the biggest pain was not having to buy a new device, but rather losing all the personal stuff that she had there. Not all of it was backed up, which is a theme for a different blog post…
The good news is that there are so many great apps to help you avoid this kind of pain. Quite a lot of them are for paid services. However, as always, I focus on the best free apps that will allow you to prevent theft or locate your stolen device. Those of you with a good sense of humor, can also give hell to the @#$& who took it 🙂
Lost Android (Free)
After testing it for a while, I can only say that this app is superb! It requires that you provide an admin permission to your device. But once you do, you’re able to fully control it remotely. By fully, I mean fully! It allows you to turn on/off the GPS, WiFi Bluetooth, etc. You can even turn on a siren that cannot be switched off. It also allows you to lock the phone and set new PIN codes or take pictures from both cameras. This is merely a partial list of the available features. To top it all, the app is completely free. What else can you ask for?
The website’s interface is very simplistic, but that’s the only downside I could think of. I truly wish that this app had been installed on my mom’s phone before it was stolen.
If I could only recommend one app, this would be it. If you still don’t have it, now’s the time to install.
Android Device Manager (Free)
This is a Google app, which usually makes it a no-brainer to recommend. The app offers very basic features. It allows you to locate your device, make it ring and lock it. These are indeed the most useful ones when trying to track your phone. However, what about having some fun while you’re at it?
This app also requires an admin permission to your phone. I assume that some of you who might not feel comfortable enough granting such a permission to an unknown app developer, would be willing to provide it to Google. If so, this is the right app for you.
Avast Anti-Theft (Free)
This is app is in many ways right in the middle between the two apps reviewed above. On one hand it provides a respectable set of free features for tracking down your stolen device. On the other hand, it comes for a trusted vendor, Avast, which probably most users would feel comfortable with.
The app has a great UX, which is always something that I look for. The free version includes great features such as tracking your device, remote locking, data wiping, activating a siren and more.
If you already have an Avast login I would strongly recommend getting this app as well.
Anti-Theft Alarm (Free)
It allows you to set a startling(!) alarm in case your phone is moved or disconnected from its charger. It is really useful when you have to leave your device unattended. I guess that some of you may ask – why would you do that? To be honest, I don’t know, but it might happen.
I usually use this app to make sure that my kids don’t mess with my phone while it’s charging… Still, on a more serious note, this is a great app that could save you a lot of trouble at a minimal effort. What more can you ask for?