TekTrak, a mobile security startup that helps people track their lost phones and protect their personal data, announced Wednesday that it’s now available for Android phones.
At the same time, Culver City-Calif.based TekTrak also announced that is has logged more than 100 million location check-ins, as users seek to have peace of mind in knowing where their phones are at all times. The TekTrak service has been availalbe as an application on Apple since the start of the year, and Samsung phones since this summer.
Users typically allow the service to auto-check their phone every two hours, mainly to help them capture the last location of their phone, said Arik Waldman, CEO of TekTrak. While it's unclear whether those auto-check-ins are helping people "not" lose their phones, check-ins are designed to address the problem of lost phones, which heretofore was not very easy to address. About 20% to 30% of phones are lost each year, said Arik. And, still, only 10% of smartphone owners have a phone-tracking service.
The new TekTrak service for Android comes with new features that TekTrak on Apple's iOS does not have. For instance, a person can use a feature, called "Remote Wipe," which can wipe out your contact lists, photos, browsing history, notes, texts, and other personal information. It's pretty handy if you lose your home in another country and just want to erase the data, and avoid the angst of someone perusing old texts and photos. The Android app also has "Remote ring," which allows the user to set off the ring, even if the phone is on mute. That's an useful feature for those, like myself, who typically turn off the ringer and regret doing so after their phone is misplaced.
The Android marketplace has some 250,000 apps in its marketplace, as of July, about half the number of apps on the Apple App Store. One could argue therefore that new apps have a greater chance of being found on the Android marketplace. Moreover, Android phones are growing in popularity. Nielsen released a new report showing demand for Google phones had trumped Apple's. The report noted that between the first quarter of this year, 31% of consumers planing on buying a new smartphone wanted an Android. Those who wanted Apple's iOS was just under 30%.
TekTrak, which launched its service in December 2010, won the Splash LA competition this past May, out of 150 applicants. The startup received its initial seed funding from Scott and Cyan Banister, Chris Yeh, Barney Pell, Kima Ventures, Jonathan Saban, Dovi Frances, and Sergey Grishin.