The first warnings regarding the so-called "DroidDream" virus that had befallen a few apps on the Market were issued a few days ago. Although the affected apps have been removed from the Market it gets you thinking that a virus scanner for Android might not be such a bad idea—and that isn’t the only reason why it’s worth taking a closer look at Lookout Mobile Security.
|Reviewed version||Latest version|
|5.5.1||Varies with device|
Features & Use
Test device: Nexus One
Android-Version: Original 2.3.3 Gingerbread with the following modifications:
Mods: Root only, no modifications
The first thing to be done when starting up Lookout Mobile Security is logging into a “mylookout” account. Go to “Mylookout.com” to manage the software.
A checklist with the following functions pops up:
• "Privacy Advisor"
• "Missing Device"
If everything is as it should be all of the above are adorned with a green tick—i.e. everything is as right as rain. Go to "Security" if you wish to scan your device manually.
Whenever a new app is installed Lookout will scan it “on the fly”, which is brilliant, as it means one doesn’t have to perform a manual scan.
I did the test by introducing one of the virus-ridden apps from the Market, and was immediately notified that the app was dangerous—hurrah!
The “Privacy Invader” scans your apps and informs you which apps are accessing your location, telephone number, serial number, SMS & MMS, etc.
This function is especially advantageous to those users who tend to ignore the terms & conditions when installing apps; suspicious applications can hence be detected even after you’ve installed them. I also appreciate the fact that users are explicitly told that the lists of apps with which Lookout comes up with isn’t a list of “bad” apps, but rather that’s an indication of potentially “bad” apps.
The only information you’ll find when you click on “Backup” or “Missing Device” is that you can secure, locate, block and delete your phone, as well as make it “scream” via the website.
When you visit the application’s website you’ll find that you can log in (top left) using your number or email address and password.
When logging in via your phone number please note that you must include your country’s international access code.
After you’ve logged in you are greeted by an overview of the smartphone.
The “Security” tab displays the results of the virus scan; there’s not much else to see aside from that.
“Backup” allows you to secure images, call registers and contacts—that’s a bit meek! I would expect an option to secure SMS/MMS as well as files saved to the SD card… that would be especially useful for the case that one were to lose one’s phone.
Aside from this the option’s functionality works brilliantly.
Go to “Missing device” in order to locate your phone or have to emit loud noises. The two functions are especially effective when used in combination for the case that you’ve misplaced your Android. Use the latter when you simply can’t locate your phone in your own home or office (i.e. in glorious situation such as when your phone has slipped behind the sofa cushions or is still in the back pocket of the trousers you were wearing last night).
There are also two premium functions which can be activated for about 3$/month: blocking and/or deleting your smartphone from a distance. Both work just as well as the app’s other functions, meaning that should you ever lose your phone you can rest assured that your data is safe.
There is, however, one big problem with all of the above: NONE of the functions work if your device isn’t connected to the internet. The app can’t be activated via SMS—or should I say that it didn’t work when I tested it from my provider.
Due to the restricted backup functions and because Lookout Mobile Security only works when internet connection is assured we’re giving this app a 3 star rating—too bad, the app definitely has a lot of potential!
Screen & Controls
Both Lookout Mobile Security’s app and website are easy to navigate—provided that your English is good. Because our community is composed of a LOT of international users we’re knocking one point off for the lack of available languages.
Speed & Stability
Lookout Mobile Security was good throughout the testing phase. There were no problems with the app’s speed and no crashes.
The Lookout Mobile Security app and service are available for free. The locking and deleting functions cost 3$/month. The only payment method is via credit card.