Lookout’s Signal Flare Helps You Find Lost Android Phones That Have Dying Batteries

Lookout, a company that offers security services for a number of smartphone platforms, is upgrading its mobile security app for Android phones today. The new version includes a sleeker management console, as well as a nifty feature in case your phone is lost and is losing battery life.

For background, Lookout’s web-based, cloud-connected applications for Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and iOS devices help users from losing their phones and identifies and block threats on a consumer’s phone. Users simply download the software to a device, and it will act as a tracking application, data backup and a virus protector much like security software downloaded to a computer. People can also manage multiple mobile devices and locate a phone or tablet on a Google map.

Lookout, which has 25 million users, says that in general, 30% of people who have had their phone stolen or lost do not recover their phone. And 85% of Lookout users say they recovered their lost phone in less than an hour, compared to just 25% of the general population.

Lookout says it located 9 million phones in 2011, which represents $2.5 billion in value. The chances of losing a phone are greater at night, more specifically, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. Plus, nearly 30% of people who reported a lost phone via lookout but could not recover their phone said it was due to their battery dying, which is why the company’s newest feature, Signal Flare, was created.

Signal Flare automatically flags the last location of a phone if it has a low battery. If you lose your phone after a battery has died, Signal Flare improves your chances of finding the phone with its last whereabouts.

In addition to a new UI, the new version of the Android app also includes an activity feed, which is a dashboard that intelligently categorizes updates for all things security. So at a glance in the app, you can see any threats, app download histories, data backups, and security notifications.

Additionally, the app includes a safe dialer protection against dialer based security attacks, which Lookout says are a new category of mobile threat. The new feature scans every hone number you click to call, alerting you if dialing the number could have unintended consequences, including wiping
your phone without your permission.

Clearly, as we are using our phones for more and more browsing activity, and app usage; we are at risk for malware and security issues. The company says that in the United States, 4 in 10 users will click on an unsafe link on a mobile device this year and estimates that more than six million people were affected by Android malware from June 2011 to June 2012, many of whom were affected by Toll Fraud applications Toll fraud malware increased from 29% in Q3 2011 to 62% in Q2 2012 – a 33% increase.

Lookout has raised $75 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners and Index Ventures and others.