There's no shortage of theft protection apps for smartphones and we've tested out quite a few of them for you.
Our app of the week Mobile Alarm System is yet another theft protection app. It can be triggered by various factors and set off the alarm that is meant to protect your smartphone in worst case scenarios (i.e. theft or attempted access by another party).
Read on to find out what sets this app apart in our review below.
Features & Use
-Samsung Galaxy Nexus 4.1.1
As mentioned, Mobile Alarm System is the kind of app that promises to protect against theft or unwanted access. Furthermore, it has an anti-virus function which is always a welcome addition.
Six triggers can set off the app:
- the phone is moved
- something approaches or leaves the proximity sensor
- the phone is unplugged from charger
- someone unlocks the phone
- a noise is too loud
- the camera detects motion
In a nutshell: the phone picks up on someone doing just about anything to the phone, including merely approaching it. The camera trigger acts as a motion detector and this feature and/or the sound feature can set off the alarm when someone comes near the device.
I tested out the motion detectors and they all worked flawlessly, much to my surprise. I couldn't quite understand what exactly triggers them—I moved around in front of and behind the device and the alarm went off.
Go to settings for a few options on how to personalise your user experience. For instance, you may de/activate the alarm sounds. Add your own sound or select which sounds are to be used. You can also set up a time window during which you might deactivate the alarm whenever you're the one using your phone. A PIN block can also be configured, you can select the volume and duration time of a given alarm as well as regulate the sensitivity of the alarm.
One feature I found to be especially useful are the email, SMS or call notifications that inform the rightful owner that an alarm on their device has been set off. If you opt for email notification don't forget to check your SPAM folder and mark incoming notifications as safe so that in future they will land directly in your inbox.
The call function is especially useful because it allows users to follow the audio of what is going on with their device, making it easier to figure out where the phone might be.
There is also an option to automatically shoot a picture when the alarm goes off, using either the front or back camera. That said, all the pictures that were taken during my test runs did not come out (they were completely dark).
Mobile Alarm System is a well made application that has a few flaws but is easy to use.
I would say that the app is ideal for retrieving a device when you're having trouble locating it at the office or after a dinner party at friends', as well as for preventing anyone accessing your phone and the data on it.
An alternative use for this app which the developers also highlight is as a prank gimmick.
There is perhaps no foolproof ant-theft app, seeing as in order for this app to function as such requires the user always being in close enough proximity to their device to hear the alarm.
Screen & Controls
Mobile Alarm System comes in a great design which is always a plus. The graphics are consistently good and this helps makes the application that much easier to use. The activity sensor display, for instance, is shown here with the help of green and red buttons. Nicely done.
Speed & Stability
Mobile Alarm System runs well aside from the bug issues mentioned above. It did not crash once throughout our test. Sensors kick in immediately and emails, SMS and calls are sent out/made instantly.
Mobile Alarm System is available from Google Play Store and the AndroidPIT App Center for EUR 1.01.
As our app of the week you can find Mobile Alarm System for a special discount price of only EUR 0.49 in the App Center.
For this reduced price we deem Mobile Alarm System as being a good application – or rather prank gimmick?