Welcome to Tap That App, I'm Seth Rosenblatt and this is the show where we show off
some of the hottest mobile apps around. I've got three top-notch Android security apps
for you to check out, each with different strengths.
First off we're checking out the free Lookout, which has gained a lot of popularity and
media attention thanks to its lost phone location service. If your phone gets lost or
stolen, you can jump onto Lookout's Web site and, assuming your phone is on, and has
battery life and the GPS enabled, you can track your phone's location. This is a must-
have feature for phones. The service has been used by police to track stolen phones.
You can also fire off a car alarm-style "scream" from your missing phone, to let you know
where it is or to annoy whomever's stolen it.
Lookout also offers contacts backup, and adds photo backup when you upgrade to the
Premium version for about $30 a year. Lookout's main feature, though, is its scanning
technology. The company is working on something it calls the App Genome Project,
which verifies as safe thousands of apps across multiple marketplaces, and checks your
apps as you download them.
Windows security powerhouse AVG recently bought its way into the Android
marketplace by picking up Israeli firm DroidSecurity. The app does many of the same
things that Lookout does, and it has more features in the free version than Lookout. The
free AVG Antivirus for Android has a password-protected app locker, and lost phone
locator, too. It's not as polished as Lookout's, though. In fact, the app's entire interface
isn't as polished as Lookout's, with a main screen that's too simple--where are the rest of
Still, AVG Antivirus's backup is more robust in the free version than Lookout's, with
contacts, SMS, system settings and app settings, although even the paid upgrade
doesn't offer photo backup. Its premium version is a lot cheaper, though, at $10 for a
Trend Micro's Mobile Security app take a completely different approach. Along with the
scan, the company has ported its Smart Protection Network for guarding against
phishing attacks to Android. It only works in the default browser for now, but that's a
start. There's no phone locator service, although there are parental controls and call and
text message blocking. For those, you can use a whitelist or a blacklist. Trend Micro's
app isn't free, instead coming with a 30-day trial after which you'll have to shell out $4 to
They're all recommended, although Lookout does the best job at the moment of offering
a strong combo of usability, features, and protection. That's it for this week's show, and if
you've got any suggestions bang em on over to TapThatApp At CNET dot com. I'm Seth
Rosenblatt and we'll see you next week.