There’s lots of ways to lose your phone, and a growing number of ways to find it again. Locator apps are thick on the ground, of which one of our favorites is the open source Prey app. But one thing these programs can’t do is locate your phone if it’s got a battery which is out of juice…and of course lost, as opposed to stolen, handsets quickly run out of power.
Which is why the new Signal Flare function in the Lookout smartphone security app is so interesting. Lookout is a nice free app for securing and locating your phone even if it’s switched to silent mode (which is another great feature!), but Signal Flare will also automatically detect a dying battery and save the last known location of the handset to give you a ‘fighting chance’ of finding it again.
It may seem like a small feature, but one day it could literally save you from losing an important part of your life or work, so from that point of view it’s definitely worth a download and install. The app works with both iPhone and Android handsets, and if you need additional functionality (such as the ability to transfer your contact address book to a new handset) you’ll need to upgrade to the commercial version which costs $2.99 a month.
Also check out Plan B, which is the only smartphone app we know of which you can download to your handset AFTER you have lost it, and which will automatically start trying to locate itself and broadcast the location of your phone to you via email. Very neat indeed!