Tools

How to Track, Locate and Remote Manage a Stolen / Lost Android Phone?

android mobile lostMany a times, we forget the mobile phones at some places and then keep searching for it, or sometimes the phone is stolen by someone and there is no option left to find the phone. But with the evolution of technology, there have been tools and softwares for the various portable devices which could help in getting at least some information about the lost or stolen device, and its location after it was lost. One of the best Apps for Android phones which could help in the same way, is the Prey AntiTheft app. The app helps in finding the phone location information through many ways, without the actual person knowing about it.

Here are the best features of the Prey App for Android:

  • Geolocation aware – The app takes the help of the GPS satellites and any of the nearby Wi-Fi network to locate the device and send the information to the servers of PreyProject where all the info is shown to the device owner.
  • Autoconnect to Wi-Fi – If the Wi-Fi is enabled, Prey would keep attempting to any of the Wi-Fi network available nearby, if there is no other source of Internet connection at that point of time.
  • SMS Activation / Deactivation – You can send an SMS to activate or deactivate the app and start tracking the device location.
  • SIM Change events – The app warns and activates itself when the SIM card is changed in the phone, and you can choose a contact to whom an SMS would be sent about the device change. The SMS would be sent from a new SIM which is placed by the person who changed it, and using that phone number the network provider can be contacted and location details can be inquired.
  • Start and Stop – You can start and stop the Prey and report the phone as missing, directly from within the phone or from your web account in PrepProject Panel. You can also see onscreen messages if Prey has sent a successful report to the owner account.

How to activate Prey and receive location reports:

First you need to download the app from the Android market and install it. Once the installation is done, you need to register an account on Prey if you haven’t already. Enter the details and activate the account by clicking on the activation link that comes to your email inbox.

prey antitheft welcome screen preyproject account signup prey account signup mail activation

prey account login prey account password verify

Open the App and you would see a lot of options listed, in which you need to go to Execution Control option.
In the Execution control, you would see 3 options – Start Prey, Stop Prey and Display Notifications. If you hit “Start Prey”, you are making the device as missing and the app starts its work of reporting. Hit on Start Prey, and from then, depending on your settings it would keep sending you the reports, default interval being 20 minutes and you can check the reports by logging into preyproject.com and check the map with the area and IP address.

prey antitheft options list prey execution control options

Here are the web details that you would receive every interval, when the phone is reported as lost. Of course you need to be connected to the internet for that, but the advantage of the app is that it keeps connecting to the Wi-Fi networks automatically to try to send reports to the account. You would keep receiving the emails too whenever the reports are sent, so that you keep yourself active on the reports:

prey device missing emails

prey missing phone report

The reports are sent every 20 minutes by default, and you can change the settings in the control panel in the website, where various changes can be made along with the time interval. You can change the status of the device as Missing and send the activation / deactivation SMS, set the alarm, alert and the remote locking of the device. The page even shows the information about the missing device, the list of the recent reports, and the owner information of the device being tracked or listed in the account.

prey desktop settings

For the free account holders, the latest 10 reports are shown and others get hidden. Whenever the report is tracked and listed, it shows in the sidebar as a list, and the right side has the map with the latest location report. You can choose to delete the report anytime.

reports list for missing device

How to set SMS Notification of SIM Change:

To set the phone notifications for whenever the SIM card is changed on the phone, you would need to go to “Active SIM Detection” option from the Prey options page. In that, you would see 3 options – Warn on SIM change, which you need to check and then go to “Contact to notify” and enter the contact numbers which you want the phone to send SMS to, whenever the SIM card is changed.
But for the same, you need to make a SIM card valid for the phone. If the SIM you have inserted right now, is the default one you want to use, select the last option “Assign to Current SIM” and confirm it. Once done, whenever you change the SIM card, your selected contact would receive an SMS from the new SIM card about the change.

prey sim change settings prey contact numbers for sms prey change default valid sim

To test the same, we set the current SIM in the Galaxy S and then changed the SIM, and the SMS was promptly sent as soon as the network was detected.

sim change notification prey

The Prey App for Android is a free application from the Android Market, but also has the various Pro plans for those who have multiple devices and want to track them altogether, and the plans vary from $5 a month (tracking 3 devices at once) to $399 a month (tracking 500 devices a month), depending on the number of devices to track and the advanced reporting and handling of the device. There are even discounts for yearly plans taken together.

It is one of the perfect applications which is available even for the laptops and other mobile phone operating systems, but the work for Android phones is a charm, with the light app being pretty easy to use and still does the job perfectly. It just needs the internet connectivity for a few seconds and the reports are sent to the account.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Astronyu

    May 26, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Been using this for quite a while now I think on all my laptops. Just wondering though, what happened if the thief trying to flash new ROM on my android? Will Prey still be able to protect it from happening?

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