By Alexandra Burlacu email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 26, 2013 06:16 PM EST
Mobile security firm Lookout started rolling out an update to its security and antivirus app for Android, adding a cool new feature: Lock Cam.
The new feature aims to help users combat phone theft and privacy violations. The new Lock Cam feature notifies phone owners if anyone tries to access their device, whether someone stole the handset or is simply trying to snoop around.
Basically, if someone steals the user's phone or enters an incorrect pass code or pattern three times, Lookout for Android will use the phone's front-facing camera to silently snap a picture of the unauthorized person. The app will then e-mail the picture to the phone's owner.
"You'll then receive an email with the picture and the location of your device, giving you valuable information about who tried to access your device and where it happened," Lookout explained in a blog post. "You can then use this information to take steps to further protect your device, like changing or strengthening your password."
Lookout's new Lock Cam feature is available only in English for now. Needless to mention, the app will not work with phones that lack a front-facing camera. The app also requires Android 2.3 Gingerbread or above, and the handset must have the lock screen enabled. To enable Lock Cam, access the app, go to "Settings," and make sure "Advanced Protection" and "Lock Cam" are enabled. According to Lookout, premium users can access Lock Cam immediately. Free users, meanwhile, will get the updated app over the next week.
Speaking of premium users, Lookout has also announced another new feature for its Premium Android app, which costs $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year. The new feature aims to help users recover a missing device, whether they misplaced or lost it entirely.
With this new feature, premium users can now add a customized message of up to 300 characters to their Lookout Lock screen, providing contact information in case someone finds the phone and wants to return it (well, it could happen). Lookout for Android is available for download from the Google Play store.