News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday May 22, 2013.
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It's great that smarpthone apps give users the ability to track down their phones that have been misplaced or stolen, but the effectiveness drops tremendously if a thief uninstalls the app or simply resets the phone. With LoJack for Android, which is embedded in the Samsung Galaxy S 4 firmware, tracking down a stolen phone will still be possible.
LoJack pitches itself as the ultimate solution to phone recovery. It's not just as simple as visiting a website and hoping that the thief isn't smart enough to disable the device; Lojack anticipates that will happen and works to retrieve it despite counterefforts. Like most phone tracking apps, Lojack works by using geolocation to determine a phone's position and display it on a map. It goes a step further by being embedded in the device's firmware and lying in wait until activated remotely. Even if someone resets the device, LoJack can trace its location and recover the phone because it is firmware persistent.
Absolute Software, the company that develops LoJack, has a team of Recovery Officers who track down the person holding a phone and then works with law enforcement agencies to retrieve the device. A representative of the company told me that its retrieval rate is over 75 percent of all devices, and if a phone or laptop cannot be located, LoJack will pay for a replacement. The service can also remotely lock or wipe devices, or display owner information on the screen.
LoJack costs $29.99 for an annual subscription. The service will soon be firmware-embedded in the Galaxy S 4, but it is also available for other Android devices. More information is
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.