As most iOS users know, it is extremely easy to uninstall apps in your iDevice. Just press an app icon long enough until it starts to shake uncontrollably and a little x will appear on the corner. Press it and the app is gone as quick as a bunny. But, have you ever asked yourself if there was a way to make uninstalling your favorite anti-theft software, a.k.a. Prey, less easy in iOS? Well, we have and we found a way. It is very easy and I will show how.
Cellphone theft has been rising quite considerably. So much so that the chances of getting your device snatched is becoming a scarily common occurrence. In London, 314 phones are stolen everyday, which is 70% of all the personals taken. In San Francisco, 40% of all the robberies in 2012 were of cellphones. This is no wonder when we take into account that carrying a smartphone, the majority of phones stolen, is akin to carrying $300+ in one tiny piece of equipment and that there is plenty of black market for such products in the world.
So, here are some pointers to protect yourself and your phone from criminals (gathered personally by the security gnomes from Prey Labs):
Everyone knows it — iOS is a very restrictive platform, and doesn’t make it easy to build an app like Prey. After releasing our iPhone and iPad client, we explained how we managed to make Prey work on it, despite the restrictions imposed by the Cupertino guys.
We then decided to release On-Demand for all users to reduce battery consumption and to simplify activation on mobiles. But still, many questions have arised about how this affects activation and why, on some cases, reports simply don’t work.
So we thought it was a good time to wrap up all this content, and make a brief guide with all what you need to know about Prey for iOS.
It’s been a while since we last updated our Android client so it was time to put our elves — I mean, our team — back into Android action. We recently pushed a big juicy update that includes a complete revamp of the UI, some security enhancements, and yes, Camouflage Mode.
Right now you have two options: you take the blue pill, and head on to Google Play and install or update Prey on your phone or tablet. You take the red pill, you stay on our blog and keep reading, and we show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
As you know, recovering your stolen laptop or tablet is all about getting the right information on time, and of course, keeping a record of it. Chances are that if you ever lose sight of yours, it will probably happen while away from home — in a café, on the bus, on top the Empire State, who knows. Thing is, you need a quick way to trigger Prey into sending the device’s location while on the run. And that’s one of the things we’ve been working on.
UPDATE APR, 2012: At last! After a long wait, Prey is now back on the App store.
As you know, a couple of months ago we released a new client for the iOS platform. Exciting moment it was. The following weeks we got lots of feedback — both good and bad, some of it very constructive — and the app was also featured on a number of respectful tech sites on the Internext.
So everything was going just fine and dandy until one day the app suddenly dissapeared from the phase of the App Store without giving any trace. What the –?
Well here’s what happened.
We pushed a new release containing a number of fixes and UI improvements and Apple not only rejected the update but unanimously decided to take the whole app down. Funnily, though, the app was rejected for stuff that hadn’t even changed from version one.
We thought this would be a quick process — which is why we didn’t blog about this until now — but it’s already been more than a month so we though it would be good to give everyone the full scoop on what’s going on.
Hey everyone, glad to be posting once again over here. It’s been a while since I hit the “New Post” button on this blog, and god it feels good. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up on what we’ve been up to these last few months.
Yup, it’s here.
It took as a bit longer than expected but the iOS client is ready to run in the wild, and we want you to help us try it out. If you have an iPhone running iOS version 4 or above, you can be one of the first to see Prey running on Apple’s platform. You’ll also get a Personal Pro account for a whole year and we’ll only ask that you fill in a form a week or two after installing the app.
Want to give it a shot? Then send us a Direct Message through Twitter with your registered email address (the one associated to your Control Panel account). If you get a DM back from us then it means you were one of the selected few who made it!
Update: Registration is now closed. Thanks everyone who signed up!
We’ve been getting lots of questions regarding our new release for Android, so we though it’d be better to write them all down on a post. As you know, 0.5 for Android included a couple of new features, and that’s mainly because we’re using some of the new stuff Google’s been packing in the Android OS.
This means that some of the new features from 0.5 won’t work on phones using Android prior to 2.2. Initially we thought it’d be better to remove support for older phones altogether — as you wouldn’t get the real deal –, but your requests have once again made us change our minds: Prey 0.5 will run on older phones as well. We just pushed an update that lets 1.5, 1.6, 2.0 and 2.1 Android users download and update Prey from the Market as usual.
Ok, now that everyone’s on board, let’s head on to the good part!
We told you this had been some crazy weeks! Well, we’re happy to start off this new year with the announcement of the first mobile version of Prey. That’s right: Prey now works in Android phones, thanks to the amazing work of Carlos.
Simple: because you asked for it! It was also the natural next step, considering that we already have Prey running on Windows, Apples, and penguins as well.
Because we think it’s a good place to start. Google’s platform looks very promising (amazing phones are available and even more are on the way), the documentation is quite good, and they have helped us all along with the development — we were lucky enough to get one of the Magic’s they gave out last year!
What it does
Basically, Prey for Android works the same way as it does in Portables and Desktops. The only difference is that there’s no standalone mode (yet), and the activation is not done via the Control Panel, but by sending an SMS to your phone with any message you want. By default this is “GO PREY” but you can (and should) put something else that will keep your friends from pulling jokes on you.
The good thing is that Android phones are geo capable, which means that we don’t need to try to grab a picture of the thief, we can just fetch the exact current location using the phones GPS or by using GSM triangulation. And it works!
So basically, when installing the app, you can attach it to your current Prey account (if you have one) or you can easily create a new one from the phone. Then you set up the SMS messages for activation/deactivation and, whenever the time comes, you just send an SMS message from another phone to yours and the reports will start coming in.
If you then want to disable Prey, you can do so by sending another SMS (by default, “STOP PREY”, which you can also change), or by unsetting the missing status on the Control Panel. That’s it.
What’s the catch
None! As the Windows, Linux and Mac versions, Prey for Android is free as in free beer. Our goal is to have a complete tracking solution for all your different devices, so that you have a centralized location in which you can monitor not only your computers but your gadgets as well, phones, cameras, microwave ovens, who knows. This is just getting started!
How do I get it
You can scan the QR below, follow the link on the image above, or just look for it in the Android Market. You can find it by searching for “Prey” or browsing the Applications > Tools menu.
Exactly what’s on your mind: other mobile platforms. We’ve already started playing around and hopefully we’ll have another one rather sooner than later. Right now we want to focus in making the Android version work smooth as silk, and see what response we get from our users. So go on, try the application out, and let us know if you experience any issues. While you’re at it, you can always take the time to give it a couple of stars too! :)
If you have any questions, as always, feel free to ask in the mailing list. Happy hunting!