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Lookout Mobile Security for iPhone: An alternative to iOS5’s iCloud?

Lookout iPhone Security
Credit: Lookout
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Apple products have a hard earned reputation for being secure so if you have an iPhone you might think that you don’t need a security app.  But you might want to consider having a look at Lookout.

Lookout iPhone Security
Credit: Lookout

Android users will be (or should be) familiar with Lookout, the company’s eponymous app is one of the highest rated security apps for the operating system with 4.5 stars from 244,000 votes and has been downloaded over 12 million times.  Lookout is a freemium service which offers a decent set of services for free with additional features for a price.

So, if you don’t want to update to iOS5 (We’re looking you jailbreakers) then Lookout’s free iPhone app could be for you.

Lookout operates as a cross-platform iCloud-type system which can be managed between a standalone app, which monitors your smartphone’s settings and a web app which allows you to operate some of your phone’s settings remotely.

On the software side Lookout will inform you if your iPhone’s firmware/software is up to date or even jailbroken.  It will also warn about unsecured wireless networks your phone may be trying to access. With the app iPhone users can backup their data to the Lookout website, the company reports that about over 33% of iPhone users don’t regularly sync their phone with their computers.  These backups can then be downloaded onto other smartphones and tablets (and not just iOS devices, unlike Apple’s iCloud).

The app’s security features are not just preventative; if your iPhone is lost or stolen the app’s website can locate it, using Google Maps, to within a few meters of its location.  The site can also set off an ear-piercing ‘scream’, even when the device is on silent, which is handy if you have lost your iPhone and annoying if you have stolen it.

For those whose phones have been stolen or completely lost (i.e. not just down the back of the sofa) Lookout allows you to operate the device remotely.

We’re big fans of Lookout and while we haven’t yet needed to use the phone location features in an emergency the app’s backup and system monitoring services make it worth downloading alone.

If you operate multiple smartphones or tablet devices Lookout can form the perfect bridge between these; or if you can’t or don’t want to update to iOS5 Lookout can give you many of the same features without the hassle.  Where the app falls down is its space, Android users alone are limited to 1.5GB for free accounts.

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).