MobiWee Will Locate Your Stolen Phone As Long as the Thief Cooperates

Last Updated Oct 19, 2009 10:08 AM EDT

If your entire life is stored on your phone, it's reassuring to have a way to locate and possibly even remotely lock or wipe its contents if it's ever lost or stolen.

Apple, of course, offers that sort of service for the iPhone with MobileMe, but at $99 per year, it's an expensive peace-of-mind insurance policy. And for about 10 minutes, I thought I had found a free alternative for my iPhone.


A friend of mine told me about MobiWee the other day. MobiWee delivers a number of services from the cloud, such as data backup, call forwarding, remote data storage, and remote phone location.

Sounds great, right? Yep. In fact, it works with iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile devices, and the site appears to aggregate all sorts of interesting services with a single Web page and a client app you need to install on your phone. That's great, but I was primarily interested in MobiWee as a way to protect my iPhone. Here is what the Web site's FAQ has to say about the location service:

This service will allow you to remotely track and identify the location of your mobile device from any web browser. Whether on the bus, at the airport, or simply left at work, with the mobile device location service, you're never left guessing. If your mobile device is out of range, MobiWee location services will keep trying until it finds it.
Cool! After getting MobiWee set up, I clicked the Locate My Device button on the Web browser, and it sent this email to my phone:
You have submited the following request to your device from your MobiWee account
Request : Locate My Device

Please make sure MobiWee client is running on your device and has access to the internet.

I'll overlook the fact that they misspelled "submitted," but I'm not so sure that a potential thief will cooperate by running the MobiWee app so I can help vector the police in on his position.

I understand that Apple doesn't currently allow an app to silently commandeer the GPS, but doesn't that make this app sort of worthless, and more than a little misleading? Commiserate or call me a fool in the comments.