Android App Preview: Lookout Labs’ Plan B

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Our good friends over at Lookout Labs gave us a sneak peek at an app that will be made available tomorrow morning, and it’s a great app for all our readers to be aware of. From the makers of Lookout Mobile Security, Plan B is an excellent app for anyone who has lost their phone and didn’t have the foresight to install a “Find My Phone” app. Thanks to the excellent synchronization between your phone and market.android.com, you can push this app to your phone, which will then aid you in locating it.

Let me stress: We recommend everyone install the Lookout Mobile Security app, which offers antivirus, security, backup and restore, and find a phone features. But, if you lose your phone before proactively taking that step, this is the app for you. Log on to market.android.com, search for Plan B, and hit the “install” button on the website. This will push a (very small) app down to your phone, and as soon as the install is completed, your phone will send its GPS location to the Plan B servers. You will immediately get an email saying your phone is being located, and then periodically, every few minutes, get emails with links to a Google Map shot of your phone’s location. The first email I got said it was accurate to within 55 meters, the second said accurate within 10 meters, and the third had pinpointed the location to within 2 meters. The emails will continue to roll in every few minutes until you get to your phone and uninstall the app. I decided I’d drive around a little bit while the emails were coming in, and the periodic emails did a great job of tracking my path around town, typically coming in every 2-6 minutes.

Obviously, this isn’t an app you’ll leave running all the time, as you continually get emails until the app is removed. It’s not an ideal substitute for a more proactive solution, as I said, but it’s remarkably functional, and very useful in emergency situations. It’s the most clever use we’ve seen yet for the ability to log into the website and push apps to your phone, and it’s a great thing to file away for the time when you might really need it.   It should be noted that at this point in time, it’s available only for the 4 major US carriers and Android phones running 2.0 or higher, but in our testing it seems to work remarkably well, and pull a very accurate location reading, so be sure and bookmark this for that instance when you might need a Plan B.

Thanks to Alicia at Lookout Labs for the sneak peek!

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