Phone theft is an unfortunate reality that many face these days. New York police believe that NYC’s recent increase in crime is due to opportunistic theft of Apple products and smartphones. Criminals rightly recognize that smartphones make a great prize. They’re small, easily carried, and highly valuable. A used device can be resold for hundreds of dollars. That’s a hell of a payday.
Security apps are a good way to fight this. They won’t stop a truly determined thief, but they can can’t hurt to use either. This is where Android’s openness becomes an advantage. An ordinary developer like Decad3nce can make his/her own security app. aeGis Security promises to be what many other lost phone apps aren’t: totally free, open-source, lightweight, Holo-themed, and doesn’t require root access. Here’s why you should consider using aeGis.
As far as security apps go, aeGis has all the basics. Using SMS commands, you can remotely cause your phone to set off an alarm, respond with its location, lock itself, and even perform a factory reset.
The app itself is guarded by a password of your choosing to prevent thieves from disabling it. Once the correct entry phrase is input, aeGis opens to a simple and easily digestible menu of options. Setting up custom commands for your phone via SMS is a breeze. Once that’s done, aeGis acts as a guard, waiting for an SMS with the correct command.
As a note of procedure, we recommend using an obscure phrase only you know. aeGis allows commands from any phone number. A malicious person could lock you out of your phone if they knew your commands.
We tested the effectiveness of aeGis and got mixed results. The remote alarm feature did not work. aeGis made a noise for a split second before being cut off by our text received tone.
Everything else worked fine. The lock command changes your phone’s system settings to a preset password you input when setting up the app. You can also set custom passwords via SMS.
The location command impressed us with its accuracy. It activated the GPS and responded within a few minutes with the exact street address. The wipe command was similarly effective. It forced the phone to reboot into recovery and perform a mandatory factory reset. This wiped our data but unfortunately left the SD card untouched. It won’t wipe everything.
Aside from the broken alarm functionality, aeGis works exactly as advertised. Android fans will also appreciate its Holo theme and lightweight nature. The app does exactly four functions and nothing else. Coders can check out its source code as well.
We appreciate the developer’s attempts to keep aeGis lightweight, but that comes at the expense of features found in competing apps such as Avast!.
For one, it’s too easily removed. aeGis’s password is useless when it can be removed with a simple uninstall. Some commands also leave a notification which takes the user straight into the app. There’s not much point in password protecting the app if that password can be bypassed. This app won’t stop a thief who puts even the smallest bit of effort into removing it. aeGis doesn’t even disguise itself in the app drawer.
The other sorely missing feature is a whitelist of numbers which may send SMS commands. We’re not entirely comfortable with leaving our phone open to just any phone number.
aeGis Security is a good app. It has a lot going for it. Holo, open-source, lightweight, non-root, and totally free are some killer positives. If you can live without the missing features of more robust guards like Avast!, aeGis works.
For any questions or suggestions, contact the developer on the Official page on XDA. Better still, if you like the app, buy the donate version (identical to the free version) to support the developer.
Download aeGis From the Play Store:
Update: This app is not available on Google Play Store.