Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Find Me!

I’ve wrote a new application which can help android users to locate their phone in case it was stolen. With this application, you can setup your phone to send its location upon receiving an SMS which contains a predefined keyword.

After installation, the first thing which has to be done is to setup the application:

Find Me 1 Find Me 2

1. Choose a keyword. When the phone receives an SMS containing only this keyword (please note that it is case sensitive), it will start sending regularly its location to a predefined destination. Or you can even specify the destination inside the SMS – I’ll get back to this.

2. Select a delivery method – SMS or e-mail. If you prefer e-mail, you need a data plan for your phone. If you select SMS, normal SMS rates will apply. Please note that if you select e-mail, you will also receive an attachment – a KML file which can be uploaded into Google Maps or Google Earth; you’ll be able to track the movement of your phone since you’ve started to monitor its location.

3. Select a destination – a phone number, if at previous step you’ve selected SMS, or a e-mail address if you have selected e-mail as a delivery method.

4. Select the update rate. This is the frequency of e-mails or SMS messages with location updates.

5. If you have selected e-mail as delivery method, you have to setup an email account from which the e-mails with your phone location will be sent. You have to input a username and a password (the password will be encrypted, so nobody will be able to extract it). It works only with Google email accounts.

6. Press “Save” button. From now one, you can track your phone by sending an SMS containing the keyword. Your phone will keep sending updates to its location until it receives an SMS containing only “STOP” – case sensitive.

A helpful feature is that you can also control some parameters via SMS. You can specify in the message parameters like the frequency of the updates, delivery method and destination. For this, your SMS should look like this:


Param:<delivery method>:<update rate>:<destination>

where <keyword> is the keyword chosen by you (it’s case sensitive) when you’ve setup the application, <update rate> is the frequency with which the application will send the location, in minutes, delivery method can be either “SMS” or “e-mail” (case sensitive) and the destination is a phone number or an email address. “Param:” is important and it is case sensitive, after this the application expects some parameters. Here is a real life example:


Note that there is a space only between the keyword and “Param:”