Nearly everyone has experienced the terror of losing an expensive cell phone but apps available for Droid phones make it possible to track a phone’s exact location- even after it has been lost. There are many different apps available on the Android market but these five offer the most features.

Android-phone-lost

AndroidLost

AndroidLost costs nothing and can be remotely installed to a phone which makes it a great last ditch effort if a user doesn’t have access to install the app. Installation is free through the Droid Market. Once installed the program requires the user to authenticate their Google account. Overall AndroidLost packs the most features of any program of this type.

Pros:

  • The SIM card can be remotely erased to remove sensitive information or photos.
  • No pre-installation required. Users can push the app to their phone through Google market.
  • Calls to the lost phone can be forward to another phone.
  • The phone can be used to remotely take pictures or record audio using the built-in microphone.
  • Users can read sent and received texts on the lost phone.
  • Content on the phone can be browsed via the webpage and downloaded. Even if the phone is never recovered, the pictures stored on the device are not lost.

Cons:

  • Authenticating the Google account can be a slow process.
  • The user interface isn’t very polished.
  • The program is still in beta.

Lookout Plan B

Plan B is another phone tracking app for Android devices that can be remotely installed, although any of the program’s features beyond tracking requires installation of the full Lookout program. Plan B, like other Android tracking apps, requires GPS to be enabled on the phone in order to track the device.

If GPS has not previously been enabled on the phone then Plan B will try to remotely enable it. A nice feature of Plan B is if it can’t activate GPS tracking then the program will use cell towers to estimate the phone’s location. Both functions send maps of the phone’s approximate location to the user’s Gmail.

Pros:

  • Plan B can be installed after the phone has been lost.
  • The full Lookout program features anti-virus protection.
  • The phone’s last known location is provided, increasing chances of recovery if the phone is dead or otherwise unable to broadcast.

Cons:

  • Available only on Android 2.0 and above.
  • Only United States users are supported.
  • Some users have complained of a glitch that constantly emails them the location when the phone has not been lost.

Where’s My Droid

Where’s My Droid calls themselves the original “Find your phone” app for Android phones.  One of the more popular phone tracking apps, Where’s My Droid has been downloaded over 79,000 times and has GPS tracking, the principle feature of most phone tracking Apps. The pro version provides control of the front and rear-facing cameras as well as the ability to remotely lock or wipe the device.

Pros:

  • Free and extremely easy to use.
  • No extra battery drain from the app.
  • The phone can be made to ring at full volume even if it has been turned to silent.

Cons:

  • Requires Droid 2.2 or better.
  • The app is mostly geared towards recovering a lost phone and provides little protection against theft.

Overview

Droid Market has many apps for recovering a lost phone and most will suffice for the absent-minded user who only needs help locating a phone that may be hiding under a couch cushion. Where’s My Droid excels in this role to locate phones that are frequently misplaced. Lookout Mobile Security and AndroidLost are invaluable because users can use the apps to locate a phone that doesn’t have the tracking software installed.

Users who are more concerned with virus protection and security will prefer Lookout. Those who want a tracking app capable of many other tasks such as audio-recording, call forwarding and other features should look to AndroidLost.

Author bio : Laura made sure to compare mobile phones before finally settling on a Blackberry.  Luckily she made sure to install the AndroidLost app so that she could feel safe taking her phone out with her.