By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm
iTag, which launched here at CTIA today, is a little like LoJack for lost or stolen Android phones. Or, to make a more relevant comparison, it’s a rough equivalent of Apple’s Find My iPhone, with a dash of location-based social networking tossed in for good measure –a service that can help you locate your phone or, if it seems to be gone forever, make sure that nobody else can get at your private data.
Among its features:
Find My iPhone is part of Apple’s $100-per-year suite of Mobile Me services. But iTag Founder and CEO Lance Parker told me that most of iTag’s features will be free, (Some advanced ones–such as the backup, restore, and remote data wipe–will cost $20 a year.) The iTag Android app has a feature that lets you broadcast an ad for the service to friends; if you alert three of them, iTag will give you free premium service for life. (Better make sure your buddies have Android phones before you bother them.)
The iTag Android app runs in the background on your phone–Parker says it’s been optimized so as not to drain your battery any faster than it has to. He also mentioned ambitious plans for the next few months, including iTag clients for other major phone OSes and a new feature that will use Bluetooth to keep track of where you parked your car in public lots. (Now that I could use.)
iTag just went live on the Android Market store, but it looks like the company may still be working out some kinks: I’ve been unable to log into my account from iTag.com or use the password recovery feature, and an option on the site that’s supposed to text-message you a download link for the software doesn’t seem to be working. If it works well it could be a keeper, so I’ll check back later. For now, here’s iTag’s own video walkthrough: