Orbicule's 'Undercover' Comes to iPhone

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Many Mac users are familiar with Orbicule's comprehensive theft recovery software Undercover 3, which utilizes Wi-Fi positioning and automatically uploaded screenshots and iSight photos to help users recover stolen notebooks. Building on the success of the Mac application, Orbicule has now expanded their product line with the release of Undercover for the iPhone and iPod touch [App Store, $4.99].

    The iPhone version of Undercover provides an online interface where a user can update his or her profile if their device is lost or stolen. If the device is lost, Undercover relays the device's location to Orbicule's servers and can display a finder's message on the iPhone to help the owner retrieve their device.

    If the iPhone or iPod touch is stolen, things are a bit trickier. Because Apple does not allow background processes, the service must still rely on the thief launching the application so that it can relay the device's location to Orbicule. In order to accomplish that, Undercover is designed to pretend to be a game. While the device is gathering location information and transmitting it to Orbicule's servers, it displays a splash screen indicative of a loading game.

    In order to help reduce Undercover's reliance on activation by a thief, Orbicule is also working with other third-party developers to incorporate Undercover functionality into their applications, allowing them to transmit location data to Orbicule once the device has been reported lost or stolen.

    Article Link: Orbicule's 'Undercover' Comes to iPhone
  2. macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Of course the coolest feature was reliant upon people not knowing about the app.

    Although I do have to say this has been the only semi-exciting email ad I have gotten in years.
  3. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    We'll have to check our demographic statistics to see how we rate with iPhone thieves. ;)
  4. macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2007
    I wonder if there is anyway to incorporate the push service to activate something in the phone. Probably not, but it would be cool. I think Apple should just give MobileMe users a way to locate their devices based on serial number via the web and that way if the thief wipes the phone you can still find it.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2006
    Nope, privacy issue. Is easy to get serial number of your girlfriend iPhone and track her. You wouldn't like to find out that she is cheating on you, would you?:eek::D
    The same apply for any other situations like that; countless possibilities really;)
  6. macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2008
    Los Angeles
    How, exactly, does it do this if it's not running in the background?
  7. macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2008
    iphone software 3.0 i read has a feature for mobileme to 'find my phone' which if it is what is says, will make this app redundant. Especially if this can be turned on in the mobileme control panel by the user and run in the true background and maybe map them using googlemaps

    IMO, apple will release this as a sort of 'remote wipe' feature that other business phones have.

    NO bad on the company, the mac version looks great.

  8. macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I'll wait to see how 3.0 incorporates that feature before going for Undercover. Definitely a plus to have either way though.
  9. macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2008
    I use the passcode lock so this app seems useless to me. Something built in to the OS would be ideal.
  10. macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Destin, Florida
    You can lock your iPhone all day long like the rest of us, But if you leave your phone somewhere and someone finds it or if someone steals it from you, like it or not just because your iphone is locked, it can be connected to iTunes and wiped clean of your information, simple restore (Putting the iphone in DFU mode)And setting the device up from scratch.
    Pass lock is alright but Apple does need to boost security.
    ATT uses Sniffer to find stolen phones being used on the network (Have the found any or many?I have no idea , I have friends that work their and said this feature is used for the IMEI's floating on the network).
    Even if someone wipes a device clean and uses a different sim card, that phone still has to connect to a network.

    I really am hoping that in 3.0 the mobile me security feature of find my phone will work in the background or be some sort of hardware embed , so that if the device is wiped clean , the iphone can still be found.
  11. macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2007
    Instead of adding overhead to other third-party apps (more code=more points of failure) why doesn't Orbicule just make it operate while in sleep mode for now, and put it as a background task in 3.0 in a few months?
  12. macrumors 65816


    May 28, 2007
    Northern NJ
    I'd think a company like this would try a sort of work around for this problem. What background processes that already exist can we use? Perhaps the background process that handles checking email? They just need to set up a mail server that isn't really designed to do much more than log the username and IP address being used when mail is checked on that account. There's no location services data that can be gathered, but at least an IP address is better than nothing.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 9, 2008
    ummm... because background tasks won't be available, even in 3.0? :confused:
  14. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    It requires the finder to launch Undercover, with the presumption being that the finder will be making efforts to find identifying information in the device, so there's a good chance they'll open it.

    Certainly not ideal, but the best they can do for now given Apple's limitations.
  15. macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2003
    Mobile Me?

    You would think that if I had mobile me enabled (which I do) the phone updates information on a regular basis. Can't they just include a "lost phone" feature in mobile me? And when you log in, it shows the last GPS location of your phone?
  16. macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2008
    GadgetTrak Launched Same Thing In August

    GadgetTrak launched the same application in August, the only difference is that the GadgetTrak application is free.

  17. macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2008
    maybe google's latitude can be used to find phones too.
  18. macrumors 6502

    Blue Fox

    Apr 13, 2009
    I wonder if they could make the App auto-launch itself via a Push Notification service once iPhone OS 3.0 comes out. I'm sure they've already tried that though. I would be fantastic if it could be auto-launched.
  19. macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2004
    San Francisco, Terre d'Ange, Bas Lag, Gallifrey
    Isn't this application rendered moot if someone does a full restore on a stolen iPhone, or similarly, re-formats the hard drive on a stolen Mac?
  20. M-5
    macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008
    The applications "Private-I" and "Private-I Lite" do the same thing (the latter doing it for free) and have been available in the app store for a while now.

    And although being able to track the iPhone's coordinates down even after a full restore sounds ideal if it's stolen, it presents a huge privacy issue if you were to sell the phone to someone else, for instance.
  21. M-5
    macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008

    The passcode lock is to protect private contents of the phone, not to render it useless to a thief. If Apple were to design the Passcode lock to not be overridden, then your iPhone would essentially become a brick if you were to forget it.

    A fingerprint scanner would be nice!
  22. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2006
    Oaklnad, CA
    Apple should acquire this company and have this built in. As well the software the sell for laptops should be built in as well to the OS itself.

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