Verizon Wireless Now Offers Lost Phone Tracking, Remote Kill

Worried that you'll lose your phone? Worried that you have no way to trace it or wipe it if it were to vanish before your very eyes? Apple has a solution for that called "Find my iPhone." It comes with each new iPhone so long as you activate a $99/year MobileMe service, and it lets users track their phone via GPS and remotely disable it if a thief were to swipe it. But no other phone nor carrier offers an exact alternative to that.

Until this service became live. Verizon Wireless has just announced a new facet of their Total Equipment Coverage Program called Mobile Recovery, and it's a new application designed to run on WebOS, Android and BlackBerry smartphones. Nearly all of VZW's major smartphones are capable of running the app, and when programmed, this will allow users to emotely lock the device, sound an alarm and wipe contacts from the phone. If the phone is not recovered, Total Equipment Coverage provides next-day replacement.

Below are the exact details on what the app can do:
  • Sound Alarm – Customers trying to find a lost phone can use the “Sound Alarm” feature which triggers an alarm, even if the phone is on silent or vibrate mode.
  • Locate Phone – If the phone is outside audible range, customers no longer have to retrace their steps looking for it. As long as the phone is powered on and within Verizon Wireless’ coverage area, the “Locate Phone” feature uses GPS to provide the location of the missing phone, complete with a map and address, and the option to get turn-by-turn directions.
  • Secure Phone – Once customers have determined their phone is lost, they can use the “Device Remote Lock” feature to prevent unauthorized use, or the “Device Remote Wipe” feature to remotely erase contacts from the device.

Basically, this coverage is included for "free" if you're already paying $7.99/month for Total Equipment Coverage. If you aren't, this may be the convincing you needed to start paying the fee. Looked at by the year, this actually costs more than Apple's service, but it includes more than just lost phone tracking. If you tend to lose your belongings a lot, this may be worth the investment.