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Lost Android Phones Now Have A Plan B

By Miles Williams - Thursday, March 03, 2011

The mobile-security company known as Lookout has released a free app for the Android called Plan B.  The purpose of the app is to help locate users phones in the event that they became lost without the user having previously installed apps designed to help locate the phone.  Plan B can be installed wirelessly and is sure to be a lifesaver for people who had their whole lives on their lost phone.

A Google account is required in order to install the app over the web.  Potential downloaders simply use the Android Market website to attach their Google accounts to their Plan B account, before downloading the app to their phone via Lookouts website.  As soon as that process is done, user get an email to their Gmail inbox stating that locating of the phone is in progress.

The service will attempt to find the phone using both SMS and GPS, meaning that phones should still be able to report their locations even if they have their GPS turned off.  Lookout claim that within 10 minutes, the user will have the location for the phone emailed to their Gmail account.  In the event that the phone was not located right away, the process can be initiated again by using another mobile phone to text the word “locate” to your phone.

Although it is very accurate, the service isn’t perfect and only reveals the whereabouts of the lost phone in a very general area.  If you simply forgot where you left your phone, this will help you find its general location.  In the event that you truly lost your phone, you may have a difficult time finding where it has actually ended up.  You may get many pinpointed locations from the service reports and any of them can be around 100 feet from where the phone actually is.

The service is designed to be used with US phones running on AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile carriers.  The app does not function if the phone is turned off, has no SIM card or has no network connection.  Losing the phone without the needed prerequisites will leave you without a Plan B.

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