Track A Stolen Device (Part 2)

10/16/2012 3:19:22 PM

Use Prey on an Android device

Besides computers, Prey also runs on mobile phone. Currently it only supports Android, but a version for iPhone is in development. To install Prey, download it from Google Play straight to your smartphone. Once it’s installed, link it to your account if you already have one, or create a new one.

After linking with your account, Prey prompts you to activate the Prey Administrator for extra security. It’s possible to run Prey on Android without doing this, but remember that without it, whoever has your phone will be able to remove the software. With the administrator, you’ll have to revoke the privileges it provides before you can remove it.

Prey is useful for finding your smartphone

You should also enable the SIM Detection feature. This asks you for a mobile phone number, to which it will send a text message when it detects a new SIM card. This is particularly useful, because the first thing many thieves do is replace your SIM card.

Now if you lose your phone, you can send it a message to activate Prey. It will then send you reports about the phone’s location at regular intervals. After you’ve recovered your smartphone, you can stop Prey from within the Prey Administrator on the phone.

Pro accounts

You can keep track of up to three different devices with the free version of Prey

You’ll soon find out whether someone is trying to sell your device on eBay

While the basic version of Prey is available for free and should work for most people, you can activate some additional features by upgrading to a Pro account. With the free version of the software, you can track up to three devices and keep 10 reports for each missing device, but there are various version of the Pro account that let you track up to 500 devices and keep 100 reports per device.

Two great benefits that come with all Pro accounts are the Active mode and On Demand mode. With the former, you can keep track of your devices by monitoring when they last checked in – when they were last powered on and connected to the internet.

On Demand mode removes the delay involved in waiting for reports after marking a device as missing, and enables you to request reports from a missing device whenever you want. In this mode, any changes you make to the configuration of the missing device are triggered instantly if the device is online. A Pro account also provides more security, sending reports from a missing device to the Prey control panel via an encrypted SSL channel. Pro accounts start from $5 a month, with a 10 percent discount if you pay for a year.

T3 Presents. The Android Guide – Vol. 1, 2012, 42-44

Get the most from your Android’s browser

Your device’s browser is great for viewing websites, but a few tweaks can made it faster and better

Long gone are the days of browsing the web very slowly via WAP. The web browser takes pride of place on Android phones, and it’s a stunning piece of software, capable of rendering web pages in their native formats complete with Flash content. However, it can still suffer from slow-downs which are especially annoying if you’re on a weak 2G connection.

Fortunately, even Android’s basic browser can be fine-tuned to fetch pages faster, and there are fast alternative browsers available on Google Play – we’ve highlighted two of them here.

If you want to experience the future of Android browsing, you can download the beta of Google’s Chrome browser from

1.    In a Flash

In a Flash

One of Android’s key advantages over Apple devices is its ability to display Flash animations and other elements (such as videos) in web pages. It’s a mixed blessing, though, because the Flash engine can take up a lot of room on your device – a not insignificant 12.85MB, to be precise.

2.    Flash sale

Flash sale

Adobe Flash Player can be found on Google Play. We recommend uninstalling it, however, if you’re low on memory – the stock version of Flash is just as good. But if you haven’t already installed it, and you have a more spacious device, you can grab it from

3.    Plug it in

Plug it in

Open the browser on your Android device and hit ‘Menu > More ‘, then ‘Settings’. Scroll down to ‘Enable plugins’ and set this to ‘On demand’. This prevents Flash from loading automatically (which can slow down web pages). Loading the content is simply a question of tapping the green arrow in Flash elements.

4.    Images


In the same Settings menu, you’ll find the option to ‘Load images’. This is handy if you’re on a slow connection because images use a lot of bandwidth, and can slow down some sites. Turn it off to speed up your daily news reading on the bus, and back on, if you want, when you reach the office.

5.    Cache and carry

Cache and carry

Your browser’s cache is a temporary dump for images and data from the web. This can make browsing speedier, but it can also take up a lot of memory. To clear it out, you need to press the ‘Home’ button, then choose ‘Menu > Settings > Applications > Storage use > Browser > Clear data.’

6.    Dive into Dolphin

Dive into Dolphin

While Android’s native browser is perfectly adequate, there are plenty of alternatives on Google Play. Our favourite is Dolphin HD, which is fast and free ( It adds Chrome-style tabbed browsing, an innovative gesture feature, plus its plug-in system includes an ad-blocker.

7.    A night at the Opera

A night at the Opera

If you’re worried about bandwidth use, switch to the Opera  Mini browser (from This uses clever server-side technology to reduce image files before they arrive. We recommend using Opera when you’re out and about, and Dolphin HD when you’re on a solid Wi-Fi connection.

8.    I wanna go surfing

I wanna go surfing

Now you should have a supercharged Android device with the right version of Flash, for web browsing at optimum speed. Always switch to Wi-Fi when possible – it’s far faster than a 3G connection. You can switch most mobile sites to the full desktop experience with the ‘View full site’ link, usually at the bottom.

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