Lookout is a great little Android app that protects you from viruses, and a whole lot more. It’s simple to use, but powerful at the same time and it is loaded with great features and options. It’s also free.
There hasn’t been a whole lot of talk, that I have heard, of mobile virus problems. I mean, it’s 2012 so when someone says they have a virus, you can’t always assume they are talking about being physically sick or afflicted with some horrible disease. They could just as easily be talking about a computer program that has in some way harmed their computer, or operating system, and is likely replicating itself at that very moment. Even so, it’s unusual to hear about viruses on mobile devices, so far.
I’m certain it’s not unheard of by any means but it’s still not a common topic in the area. So, it hadn’t occurred to me that virus protection for my Android phone could be just as important as the protection measures I take on my laptop (which is my home system).
Once that thought was in evidence (in other words, someone smarter than me mentioned it), I began considering different forms of protection on my phone. Should I just stop downloading anything on it? Was I better off only using official Google Play approved apps, as opposed to finding and using more independent apps. What about data packages? Would my computer’s anti-virus program even detect a virus designed to affect my phone? I didn’t have the answers to any of these questions so I went out to find them. I didn’t get all of them answered but I did have a good time playing with different apps.
Inevitably, a suggestion for a particular bit of anti-virus software for Android was given, and I took a look with my own Android (As of the time of this post, a Samsung Vitality) at the Google Play (formerly the Google App store) page for Lookout. After downloading it and using it for a while, even testing it out on purpose once or twice, I have to say I do like Lookout.
Lookout has tons of things to champion it to the public. It’s loaded with tons of options and features, and it’s also a fairly small program. It’ features an active scanner that will not only block any viruses affecting your system, but will also scan incoming files for harmful content as well. It will let you schedule regular scans and updates, too. It basically does everything you’d expect in a comparable PC program. However, Lookout also has some features that would only really be useful or needed for a mobile device. Things like a phone locator that functions even if your phone doesn’t have it’s GPS option enabled, I may not understand so well on a technical level yet, but I can easily deduce how they are useful to me. This is especially evident when I lose my phone in the couch and it was not, in fact, stolen by the neighbor’s dog when I wasn’t looking.
The program will also allow you, through myLookout.com, to turn on a noisy alarm on the phone or other Android OS device, even if it’s not on ring mode. If you lost it in a meeting, for example, you could find this one handy. It’s also got options to backup and restore things like contacts, but that particular feature seems a bit redundant to anyone who gets that option through their phone company already. Syncing your contacts with things like Gmail usually offers a backup system of some kind, and my phone’s carrier provides that as well. Overall, however, I liked most of the features on Lookout, even the ones I deemed un-necessary for my phone.
Now, like many Android apps, Lookout has a free version and a premium version. One of the nicer things about Lookout, though, is that it offers a free trial of the premium version. Lots of other apps do the same thing, but Lookout gets full marks for thinking outside the box by offering their free trial with no credit card info needed, and instead of ‘automatically renewing your subscription’ to the premium version it will actually revert to the free version. This apparently good-hearted as well as smart innovation on Lookout is just what I think the app world needs, so I give kudos to them for that as well.
Overall, I liked Lookout. I still don’t see a gigantic need for anti-virus software on my phone, even after researching the current situation there. I do, however, enjoy and use the other ‘security’ features of Lookout, like being able to lock the phone remotely from myLookout.com. I’d say give it a try. It’s free so you haven’t got anything to lose, and while no anti-virus software can ever be 100% perfect and effective, it’s sure better to have some than none and Lookout stands above the pack, in my opinion. Until next time, my friends.
Get Lookout for Android OS here.
(Author’s note: I still haven’t figured out how to take screenshots on my Android. Anyone know a good app for that? ~BC)