Losing one’s smartphone is somewhat of a catastrophe, and that’s putting it mildly. The fact that our phones have become so smart can work against us, in the sense that we tend to store an enormous amount of important personal information on them, or else they can be used to access personal information. I’m talking accessing emails, calendars, contacts, you name it—and that’s not even the scariest of scenarios.
There are quite a few apps floating around that were developed to help the rightful owner in worst-case scenario type situations. "GotYa! Face trap !" is an example of such an app, but with a unique feature: it will take a photo of the thief (or person who finds your lost phone)!
Features & Use
Test device: LG Optimus Speed / 2x
Android version: 2.3.4
Setting up "GotYa! Face trap !" doesn’t take very long. You can set up a PIN code and/or pattern/password lock via the app. A SIM card specific PIN code is not sufficient.
It also makes sense to secure the app’s configuration with a password.
You can also choose under which circumstances a photo should be taken with the device’s front facing camera: every time the display is activated or only when an unsuccessful attempt to unlock the screen has been made.
Another great function: the device can be controlled via SMS. To do so, a number of code words can be set. The device can then be locked and unlocked via SMS, a call can be initiated, a message can be sent, the phone can be made to ring loudly and you can inquire after the phone’s location.
The actual photo taken of the thief/finder can be sent to you in an email or Facebook.
Check out the 'SMS Notifications' menu in order to activated the super useful option of having an SMS sent should the SIM card be replaced. This means that you can find out what the thief’s phone number is, and then pass the information on to the police who can find out the thief’s name.
Alternatively, you can Activate the ‘Friendly Mode’, which allows the thief to gain access to the phone after having made several unsuccessful attempts. This incites the thief to keep using the device, and in the case that some good Samaritan has found your misplaced phone and is trying to contact you, the finder is enabled to place a call. This mode is useful, but only if you haven’t stored personal data on your phone.
GotYa can also display the device’s current location once the thief/finder has gained access to it.
There are email settings in which you can determine to whom notifications should be sent. The configurations are very simple for Google Mail users.
And now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, i.e. GotYa’s actual functionality. Once the wrong screen lock code has been entered the device will take a photo within seconds, search for the current location and send the information in an email. This takes but a few seconds with 3G, and everything works surprisingly well, including the SMS options.
"GotYa! Face trap !" is an absolute must have for me. I dread to think of the day that I leave my phone lying around in a library or conference centre, or – heaven forbid – that I lose it in the event of an even more sinister scenario, but I fell safe knowing that my data and personal information is safe, thanks to GotYa.
Screen & Controls
One thing that "GotYa! Face trap !" definitely lacks is a set-up assistant. Instead, it tries to guide new users through the set-up with a jam-packed menu—there’s room for improvement there.
That said, the app does also harbour an FAQ in which explanations for most functions can be found.
Speed & Stability
"GotYa! Face trap !" does not run constantly in the background; instead, it is activated when someone enters the wrong code or makes a wrong pattern, meaning the app won’t unnecessarily take up extra space.
The app itself runs very smoothly, and sending notifications takes but a moment.
"GotYa! Face trap !" costs 1,99 €–a worthwhile investment, considering the cost of a smartphone. The price is totally justified considering the app’s functionality.