BY DAN FROELICH
With the ever-increasing adoption of smart phones in today’s electronics market, we find ourselves trusting these tiny devices with usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and personal data. What happens when this valuable gadget is misplaced? We panic! While many smartphone owners have an iOS device such as the latest iPhone, many more are choosing to adopt an Android device. Even though the specifications vary greatly, the spirit of the Open Handset Alliance lives somewhere deep within each device. Despite phone insurance, password patterns and PINs, we are likely to misplace our mobile device at some point during our two year contract.
So when you misplace your handset, AND YOU WILL, I have a great solution to ease your worries (unless you dropped your phone in the Atlantic Ocean). Where’s My Droid is a free application available through the Android Marketplace that helps you find find your lost phone. If you have a QR code reader, you can scan the code pictured at the top right and get a head start.
So why would I want to download this application? Where’s My Droid allows you to send a pre-determined text message to your Android phone that will activate the ringer for a previously decided upon length of time. Additionally, if some ne’er-do-well has your phone you can send a separate message that will activate your handset’s GPS and return a Google map and GPS coordinates of where your phone is.
I installed Where’s My Droid (I had to jump into the Marketplace and dig through the four possible entries that were listed under the same name) and tested it out in my home, while my mobile device was still in my own possession (as I recommend everyone do). It worked flawlessly. I used my Google Voice account to send a text message to my mobile number and received the messages you see here.
Is this application perfect? Probably not. But it certainly is a great option if you don’t have some enterprise level of security on your device. There are many other options available as you set up the default behaviors, many of these applications even offer a remote wipe option to clear all sensitive data from your mobile phone. If you have an Android device, make sure that this is in your top five applications when setting up your applications.