There are plenty of options out there for tracking your phone if you lose it, such as the free and cross-platform Prey
. But Plan B
, from the mobile security firm Lookout, has a unique feature; you don't have to install it before you lose your phone
. Thanks to Android's new ability to install apps over the Web, you can simply point your browser to the Android Market
site, and install Plan B -- even if your phone has already gone missing. You'll then receive e-mail updates from Plan B to your Gmail account teling you where your phone is located, using Google Maps. The app will update you for ten minutes on the whereabouts of your phone automatically. After the initial ten minutes are up, you'll have to reactivate Plan B by sending a text message to your missing device with the word "locate," in order to trigger the location process all over again. It's a pretty neat trick, and quite handy for those who can't be bothered to plan ahead.
Unlike Prey, however, Plan B will not let you lock your phone or remotely erase its contents. And obviously it only works if the phone is on and has a network connection. Plan B is only available in the U.S. right now, and is free for phones running Android
2.0 and higher.