I have been playing with the 3rd Edition version of the hugely successful application Guardian, by Marco Bellino. What are my reactions? I am very pleased. There is just so much this small piece of software can do. As the name suggests, the software is basically meant to protect your phone from unauthorised usage, if it gets stolen or even otherwise. It comes in three different variants, a free basic version, a Gold and a Platinum version; naturally functionality keeps increasing with each higher version. For the purpose of this review I will be running the full blown Platinum.
It has been a while since S60 devices started shipping with an inbuilt GPS and it has also been a while since we have been losing devices. Since GPS can virtually pinpoint our exact location on the map, how cool would it be if we could use the phone’s GPS remotely to track it anywhere in the world? This is exactly what Guardian does, it enables us to pin point our phone anywhere on the planet even if we have lost it. This feature alone deserves a WOW! However, Guardian is just getting started, read on for more.
It is an application which barely takes a minute to set up and then hides itself from the menu while continuing to run in the background. The application running indicator is also not displayed next to it, even if it is enabled.
The setup, like I said is pretty straightforward. There is an option to ‘Enable’ or ‘Disable’ Guardian, followed by the option to enter the phone number to which notifications would be sent in case of loss. The software automatically registers the current SIM in the phone and authorises it, the ability to authorise additional SIM cards is present in the Gold and Platinum versions.
Next in line, is the ability to password protect the various applications in the phone. (3rd party and Default both). As I recall, even entry level Motorolas’ have the ability to not only password protect the whole phone but also individual applications, sadly this feature has been missing on S60 for a long time and I see no plans to include it. There are many occasions when a person needs to lock only a particular section of the phone e.g. lock Messages when you give your phone to someone to make a call, lock the Gallery when you do not want your peers/family to see certain pictures/video. I could go on.
Guardian also brings this wonderful feature, by simply selecting the applications we want to lock and enabling Guardian we can rest, assured. If someone tries to open the Gallery, he will be prompted to input the password, if he/she fails to, access will be blocked. Using this feature we can even prevent unauthorised installation of this or any other application by locking the ‘Application Manager’. Neat!
The above dealt with the time the phone (thankfully) was with you and not lost or stolen. The following deals with what you can do once you have lost the phone.
As soon as another (unauthorised) SIM card is inserted in the phone, Guardian will send you a text on the number you enter in the Recepient option with the following details:
This will give you the phone number of the ‘Theif’ and all commands can now be executed by sending a message to this number. Playing with this software gives quite a empowered feel, with all the commands present, have a look.
GET GPS COORDINATES
The number 12345678 represents the password or the secret code for Guardian and sending this SMS to the theif’s number you just got, gives you:
The exact Latitude and Longitude along with a link to Google Maps that opens up in the phone’s browser itself. Mighty cool. I was trying this application out with my E90 that was inside my room, placed not very near to the windown and still it got a lock. (A positive for the phone and not necessarily the application, but the better the GPS, the more effective the application)
Now that GPS lets you get close to the phone, how about a command that makes the phone let out a loud noise for as long as you want, after all this way you will locate it easier?
Once this command is sent, the result is that the phone emits a loud noise no matter what profile it was set on. The duration is determined by the ‘time=” dialog. The number represents seconds. This function might not have exactly the use I suggested above, however it is useful in one more area. Many a time we put the phone on silent/vibrate and forget where it was kept. It is in those situations too that this feature will be handy.
LOGS / DELETE
Guardian also allows us to recover as well as delete personal data from the phone. In case you want the last outgoing calls, sms, contacts from the phonebook, everything can be pulled. A different set of completely customisable commands allows us to delete received and sent sms, phonebook entries, photos, videos and voice records in any combination or individually.
Sending a Fake SMS on the theif’s number is also a fun feature of this application.
Now in practical life, I doubt anyone of us will send such a message, however as with this application’s other features, this has a parallel use too. Using the two phones in conjunction a person can make a false message with the sender as a friend/foe whatever and write anything inside to use it for his/her benefit! Neat!
This is one of the biggest issues with the great application. How are we expected to remember all these different commands? We are not. The developer Marco has made it is easier for us here too. If I write “*12345*commands*” and send it to the theif’s number I will receive a complete set of customised commands ready to be sent as a forward!
Whether or not can this software allow you to get your phone back is not for sure at all, inspite of the GPS tracking. (A smart theif may flash the phone first. but then there are a lot of dumb people in the world too). However, that is only one dimension of the program, there are so many other things it can do; lock applications, send Fake SMS, locate phone with a sound and so on. It is also not heavy on the RAM or the battery. In light of these factors it comes out as an application that makies the phone seem complete.
The new Guardian Website is scheduled to go live today, go check the application out. I am not sure of the price as of now, but will keep you posted.
Update: The website is up and the Platinum version is 29.9$ and Gold is 18.9$. However, as a special thank you, to you, the readers, we have 5 licences to give away and a 30% discount too. Details here.