With the vast amount of personal information that we carry on our phones these days, having your phone taken away from you is one of the most inconvenient things that can happen. Unfortunately, your phone is a highly desirable target for thieves and pickpockets, and although you can protect your information with encryption, you still have to suffer the financial impact and inconvenience of losing your device and having to get a new one if it is stolen. Because of that, protecting your current device should be your number one priority, and that is why we’ll show you a way to protect your device against thieves and pickpockets in today’s lesson.
Although we have covered potential anti-theft solutions in the past, like Cerberus or Android Device Manager, which can help you locate a lost or stolen phone, most of these solutions are only useful after the fact. They might help you get your device back or erase your data, but they will not prevent the actual theft from taking place. However, that’s exactly what today’s app, Pocket Sense, aims to do. You can install Pocket Sense by using this Play Store link and downloading it to your device. When you first run the app, you’ll immediately be taken to the main screen:
The purpose of the app, as we mentioned, is to protect against theft. The way it prevents it is by detecting certain motions – for example, when you take your phone off your pocket, or when it is picked up from a surface and moved. If it detects these motions and the device isn’t unlocked, it sounds an alarm that will keep ringing until you unlock the device. In the main screen, you’ll see switches for the three main modes – pocket sense, charge sense, and motion sense. These are useful for different situations, and by enabling a mode, it will demonstrate how it works:
As you can see, pocket sense is useful for detecting when the device is moved from your pocket. This mode is intended to protect against pickpockets, by analyzing the motion of your device and using the sensors to detect when the device is removed from your pocket. If the device is removed, the alarm will sound. By default, the alarm sounds instantaneously, so it might be a good idea to head onto the settings to configure the delay:
As you can see, the settings are fairly self-explanatory. One of the settings that you’ll want to adjust is the delay time, as you want to give yourself some time to unlock your device before the alarm rings:
You might also want to adjust the sensitivity if you find that the trigger is too sensitive or not sensitive enough for your device. As Android devices ship with all kinds of different sensor models and configurations, the default setting might not be ideal for your device, so try out the different sensitivity values:
With the trigger configured, you can just test it out. Place the device in your pocket and then take it out without unlocking. The alarm should ring, because Pocket Sense detected that the device was taken out of the pocket and wasn’t unlocked on time. Motion sense mode acts the same way as pocket sense mode, but the trigger is the device being lifted from a surface after being locked:
Lastly, we have charging sense mode, which instead of detecting motion, detects when the charger is disconnected from the device:
That’s about it for today’s lesson! As you can see, Pocket Sense is one of the few apps that is designed to prevent a theft rather than trying to deal with it after the fact. While the ability to lock or detect your device remotely is handy, whether you can actually get your device back in those situations depends entirely on the ineptitude of the thief, and there’s not much you can do about it. With Pocket Sense, although I find some modes more useful than others, you have an extra layer of security. Any questions or doubts? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below!