How To Install GPS Tracking Apps Remotely To Find A Lost Or Stolen Android Cell Phone

by Joe Mueller on December 8, 2011

Did you know that if you are using an Android cell phone you can download apps to your cell phone from the web? That is right, you do not even have to have your phone in your possession! This is an incredibly important thing for someone who has a lost cell phone because it means you can download and install a GPS tracking app onto your phone from your home or work computer. What you will find below is how to install Plan B, a free cell phone recovery app from the makers of Lookout Mobile Security, and how to start tracking your phone AFTER you already lost it.

How to Do I Install A Cell Phone Tracking App On A Phone I Already Lost?

  1. Go to the Android Market
  2. Log in using the GMail account that you set up your phone with
  3. Type “Plan B” in the search field and press the “Enter” key
  4. Click on the Install button
  5. A pop up will ask you to which phone you want to install the tracking app
  6. Click on another install button on the bottom of the screen
  7. Get the confirmation message that the app is being downloaded to your phone

The one thing that you have to keep in mind is that the phone does need to be on. To say the same thing twice, you cannot install an app remotely when the phone is off. You will only be told by the app store that your app will be installed shortly, so if the phone is off the only way that you will be able to tell is because you received no messages from Plan B on your Gmail account.

Installing Plan B App Store Affirmative

Another thing to think about is that when you install the app remotely the phone will receive a notification that the app has been downloaded. The app also sends an email once it has found your location to the GMail address associated with your phone – which means you will get an email notification on your phone too. Once the Plan B app is installed you will get the following on the screen of your cell phone:

All of these notifications are fine if the phone is simply lost, but it can be a tip off to a theif if the phone was stolen. This is one of the major drawbacks of using something like Plan B.

Once Plan B Has Been Installed: How It Works

After Plan B is installed it will sent emails to the GMail account associated with your phone. The emails that were sent to me looked like this:

Plan B Gmail Messages

This app worked even with my GPS turned off. When I checked the phone after the program was installed my GPS was turned back on.

Apps The Can Be Remotely Installed Successfully

As of right now we have only really tested Plan B as way to track a phone that has already been lost or stolen. Once we do some additional testing we will compile a list of all apps here. If you already know of one, please leave a comment letting us know.

Here is a list of app that I have tested and found to work with a remote install:

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