Lookout’s New Plan B App Allows Users To Find a Lost Phone, Even the Morning After

Published on March 2, 2011
by Ina Fried

There are plenty of products one can install in advance of losing one’s phone that can help in recovery efforts, but a new product appears to be the first that works on its own after a device is lost.

The product, Plan B, is from Lookout Mobile Security, a startup that focuses on phone security software.

“We’ve all had a friend who has lost their phone, but didn’t have Lookout or another ‘find my phone app’ already on their phone,” Lookout said in a blog post announcing the product. “Plan B was created for them.”

Released last week, Plan B takes advantage of the fact that Android now has a Web version of its Market where one can choose an app and have it installed directly onto a device.

As a result, a user must have an account already set up on their Android device before it is lost and must have the app installed via the Web store. Once installed, the App will send a map of the phone’s location to the owner’s Gmail account.

The Plan B program is free, but clearly the goal is that anyone that uses it will want some more substantial protection for their phone in the future and be a good potential customer for Lookout’s more advanced software.

“Plan B is not a replacement for Lookout and is designed to be a one-time use app,” the company said. “It’s a backup plan for anyone who’s lost their phone and wants to get it back.”

I haven’t tried it myself, but it has already gotten a few rave reviews from thankful users.

The program is the first product to come out of a new “Lookout Labs” venture. According to the company, the new labs effort was “created to explore and test out new ideas that push the boundaries of mobile.”

It comes with all the usual caveats that accompany labs efforts.

“Projects developed in Lookout Labs are experimental by nature and are developed to showcase new concepts and facilitate an exchange between Lookout and the mobile community,” the company notes. “They may only be available for a limited time, so make sure you check out our latest projects when they are first rolled out.”

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