Saturday, November 8, 2008

iPhone Phone Home? No can do

Paddy Tan wants to return your iPhone back to you.

A software development firm in Singapore has developed an app that will help you recover your lost or stolen iPhone, but it may never see the light of day.

BAK2u, a company that develops anti-theft software for mobile phones and laptops, has developed an app called PhoneBAK for iPhone. This app will send out an email if someone keys in the wrong password when using the iPhone. PhoneBAK will use the GPS functionality to extract the location of the iPhone and send the location via email to a preprogrammed address. When that email is received, the recipient can click on a link in the email, and it will call up Google Maps to show the person exactly where the phone is. 

Demo of PhoneBAK for iPhone

Unfortunately, PhoneBAK for iPhone may never find its way to the app store because Apple has been sitting on this app for about two months now. This is much longer than the five days or so it normally takes to approve an app. Paddy Tan, the founder and CEO of BAK2u, does not currently have high hopes of the app being approved. “The wait is a tad too long and from discussions with other developers, (we think) there may be a chance it won’t be approved,” he says.

It would be a shame if BAK2u is never released for the iPhone because versions of this app already exist for other mobile platforms like Windows Mobile and Blackberry. The company has also made versions for Vista and OS X for laptop users.

BAK2u does have other apps on the app store at the moment. iCabSG, a free app that helps you call a taxi, was on the top 10 list of free apps when it was first released. The company also has another free app called iMergency that allows you to store all the emergency numbers in one app. Security software, however, is what the company is best known for. (See this story from CNN about PhoneBAK.)

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