iPhones have become a staple in the technological world; packing innovative technology and all of the market’s key selling points into one sleek looking device. So you’ve bought your screen protector, your iPhone case and you’ve successfully backed up your data just in case of the unlikely occurrence that your iPhone malfunctions. Basically, your iPhone is protected from everything, or is it? Let’s say for example you drop your iPhone on the train; the screen cover prevents the screen from scratching, the case leaves the back glossy and new, and your data is safely backed up on your computer, but you simply get off your seat and continue travelling to your destination. Your iPhone is lost in the world and it’s left as a prime target for some curious young man to simply pick up and take it. So what protection can you obtain to prevent this from happening? Well, Kickoo, believe that they have the solution with their application for the iPhone and iPhone 3G: Top Secret.
Top Secret is a locating tool designed to provide you with details regarding the whereabouts of your iPhone on request. Top Secret is a regular icon on the front page of your iPhone which is disguised as a storage space for top secret documents and files. The intention of this is so that if your iPhone is taken, the person who took it will be tempted into pushing the button on your front page. The first startup requires you to input your email address so details can be sent to where your iPhone is. When the app itself is opening it states that it is in the process of “retrieving online data”, when really it is connecting to a wi-fi, 3G or EDGE connection in order to send the location details via GPS (iPhone 3G) or cell towers (iPhone 2G). At the end of the “retrieving data” message the user is shown an error message. This is to ensure that the user may try again sometime and their location can be monitored.
This app is an early shot at protection that the iPhone needs. With the iPhone 3G the GPS can really give a good idea of where your location is, whereas on the regular 2G the location services are a bit vague. The main flaws I can see with this software is that you have to be connected to a data network, and if you turn off your EDGE or 3G because you do not have a data package, this could be a problem. The second flaw is the fact that it emails you the locations; this wouldn’t be a problem if my iPhone wasn’t my primary source to read mail. So when the location is sent to my email, the person will instantly see that I have new mail, which could be far more incriminating than an application named “Top Secret”. The final flaw is that the user needs to physically activate the location sending which also requires the annoying Apple request for location services, and if the thief is not smart enough to say “don’t allow” then they deserve to be caught honestly.
Despite these flaws, there are some decent features to this app. In the notification email that Kickoo sends you stating that your iPhone has been located, they give some decent information. For one they give you the IP address of the network they’re connected too and the ISP information. This is good if your search results are vague and non-specific. It also sends you your iPhone’s “unique identifier” so you can be sure that it is your iPhone and you also receive location coordinates, which (if you use Gmail) open directly in Google Maps.
Overall this is a decent attempt at a much needed app. Although there are a few problems that still need to be fixed, and a few user issues that need be sorted, does exactly what it states. However my advice for this $2.99 app is to wait for further version releases that fix problems regarding the 2G in particular. However if you have a 3G, then you have to consider: can you really put a price tag on your iPhones safety?