So given the news I shared regarding Cerberus, I figured today I would touch on the app itself and why you should be using it, if you aren't already.

First off you can install it from its Play Store link. It is good as is for a 7-day free trial, at which point you'll have to pay to keep using. I forget how much it cost, as I got it during a promotion when they reached a certain amount of users. (It was a weekend "free for life" thing.) I want to say that it cost between $2.99 - $4.99. For some that might sound like a bit too much, but keep in mind one really important thing. You can install it on 5 devices once you've paid for it. Also of note is that it isn't tied to your Gmail account like most apps are, it's tied solely to your Cerberus account. (So if your parents or siblings or significant others are kinda klutzes, you can install it for them and using your own username help them keep track of their devices. Total win in my book for that alone.)

Now, what can it do? Well, first and foremost the app is NOT an antivirus app. It is solely made with the intent to keep your device secure in the event of loss or theft. Here's a few screenshots showing the app itself running on a device, I'll get into specifics after.

You'll notice a few important options checked off on there. First up is Wipe. What this does is wipe your device, thereby preventing anyone from having access to your Gmail account and anything on the device itself. Probably the most important thing the app can do to be honest.

Advertisement

After that you'll see Wipe SD Card. Pretty self explanatory. Not all phones have microSD card slots to utilize this feature, but enough do that it's worth including in the app. This wipes anything on your SD card.

Below that you'll see just a bit of the Automatic Photo Capture menu. This is where you'll find options where you can determine if a photo (using the front facing camera) will be taken when an incorrect number of unlock attempts are made. The option for how many that requires before a photo is taken is there and entirely up to you to determine. You can also set it to take a picture if an alarm is stopped or a message is dismissed.

In any case, all these pictures will be immediately taken and sent to your Gmail account for your viewing.

Advertisement

The option below that is SIM checker configuration. For CDMA devices (i.e. anyone with a phone on Sprint or Verizon) the option is there to enter this menu, but you can't do anything with it since your carriers do not utilize the use of SIM cards.

For everyone else, this is where you tell the app that the SIM card you currently use in it is authorized.

If an unauthorized SIM card is inserted and attempted to be used in the device, this is also where you'll set what phones will have alerts sent to them. (You will have to enter the individual phone numbers, with three being the total allowable.)

The next setting below that is Save Location History. With this enabled you basically can see where your phone has been over a given period and check this through the web interface. The location history is usually pretty accurate, assuming your GPS settings are fully enabled and turned on. Mine are as accurate as 4 meters at any given moment and as "horribly" inaccurate as 30 meters at the worst.

One really important thing to know is that when you install the app, upon first launching it you will be asked to give it Administrator permissions on your device. Through the Device Administrator page found within the Settings menu for your device. YOU WANT TO ENABLE/ACTIVATE THIS. This is how the app does all the extra wonderful things it does.

A few extra "hidden" or not as advertised features include Dial Code access. What this does is allows you to hide the app from your app drawer, but still allow you to reach it by dialing a given code from the phone's dialer. Think of it like dialing a phone number, the moment you have it entered correctly the app launches. This is a great feature to avoid people being aware the app exist on the device in the first place.

Advertisement

Another unique thing is that there are more options for rooted users, notably the ability to survive a Factory Reset. The only way to completely get rid of the app at that point is to do a full device wipe from recovery. (Your average thief will definitely not be doing that.)

The really great part about the app though is that you can "control" your device using a separate Client App found in the Play Store, which allows you to grant access to and from certain phone numbers. Putting things simply, if my mom loses her phone using my phone I can send commands to it to wipe, lock, sound an alarm or track it down and so on.

The other incredibly useful feature though is doing so through the web interface.

All commands can be handled online with quite a few extra ones being available. These range from seeing any and all numbers called and texted from your lost/stolen device to being able to directly send a message to it in the "I know you have my phone, asshole" vain. You can also send a command to sound a really loud alarm on the device, this works even when the phone is muted. And by "really loud" I mean if you test this by yourself you're probably going to freak out and panic and try and shut off the phone or the alarm. You may drop your phone in the process. Trust me, it's loud and will catch you by surprise.

Advertisement

In addition to the see numbers called/texted, you can have copies of the text message pulled and displayed. Neat. So you can see who a thief has been texting and what exactly. There might be privacy concerns regarding this feature, but remember the following: If a thief has stolen your phone and assuming you send the authorities to their location, you can print these out as proof they were using your device. Especially useful when they say "Oh, I literally just found this all of ten seconds ago. I hadn't even messed with it yet, was just about to try and find the owner." Cough bullshit cough. [hands over printouts of calls made and text messages sent and received]

Really, I can't tell you enough how amazing this app is. It is definitely worth the cost.

Get it. Better safe than sorry as the saying goes.

Next week's topic: Nova Launcher!!! (Prepare for the joys of infinite customization. Your wallet may or may not take a beating once you see how many wonderful icon packs, wallpaper apps and so on and so forth you can find in the Play Store. Also, if you really want a sneak peek at what you'll be able to do with Nova once you've got it mostly figured out then check out My Color Screen. I have had a handful of setups thanks to that site, with two I used for a very long time. The last one I had used, which I'm actually considering setting up again is called Flards and it looks amazing.)