Mobile Defense Blog


This is the official Mobile Defense company blog. Posts includes news, release notes, security tips, and other announcements from the Mobile Defense team.

Google Android Market update notifications may be broken but Mobile Defense users are unaffected

  • Posted by Stuart at 11:49 PM
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According to Phandroid, the automatic update notifications are broken in the Google Android Market. Fortunately, Mobile Defense has its own update notification system built-in which isn’t dependent upon the Market. Handling updates this way allows us to distribute our app from various locations and have more control over outdated copies. Furthermore, as a security app we feel it is necessary to notify our users when critical updates are released. Our system supports three types of updates and notifies users accordingly:

Minor – Small bug fixes that don’t affect security or safety. For example, cosmetic changes and usability improvements. Our system will not issue a notification for this type of update; however, users may receive a notice from the Android Market app. Minor updates are recommended but not required.

Major – Significant bug fixes or new features that don’t affect security or safety. Examples include, patches to SIM change notifications and our soon to be released registration wizard. Users will receive a single update notification. These updates are strongly recommended and tapping the notification message will begin the update process.

Critical – Security patches and mandatory updates. These updates are very important and required. Users will experience persistent update notifications via the phone, website, and email. After 14 days, if users still have not updated, their phone will be deactivated from their online account. If this occurs, please download the latest version and reconnect your phone. While rare, we only issue critical updates when absolutely necessary.

Mobile Defense users report old versions of apps in Android Market

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Over the past few days we have had a number of reports from users stating that they do not see the latest version of Mobile Defense in the Android Market. To resolved this issue you will need to clear the cache for the Market application. Open your phone’s settings and navigate to “Applications” > “Manage applications” > “Market”, and then simply click on the “Clear cache” button. Your cache size should now be zero. Navigate back to the Market and try downloading the latest version of Mobile Defense. If the issues persists after following these steps, please contact us via our support forum http://support.mobiledefense.com

Thanks to Robert Hamilton for pointing this out!

Mobile Defense designed for performance

  • Posted by Stuart at 5:58 AM
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Mobile Defense was designed to have little to no impact on your day-to-day performance. You might have noticed the special text message (aka SMS) we send to your phone. This message is a randomized security token and it allows MobileDefense to stay dormant on your phone and awake only when needed. In other words, Mobile Defense is not continually running in the background on your phone. Therefore, it is not consuming battery or active memory.

The only time you should see any noticeable battery drain is when you are remotely connected to your phone via the Mobile Defense website. Once you click on the “Connect to Phone” button from your dashboard a remote connection will be established with your phone. The remote session will remain open until you terminate the connection or until 30 minutes has expired, whichever comes first. The session can be terminated by clicking on the “Disconnect” link in the dashboard.

Our internal benchmarks show after a 30 minute remote session indoors with GPS on, Wi-Fi off, and a good EDGE signal, only 13% of the stock G1 battery (1150 mAh) was consumed. In comparison, using the native Google Maps application for an equivalent amount of time would drain more battery. Note, newer phones such as the DROID (1400 mAh) and Nexus One (1400 mAh) have higher capacity batteries and, as result, a 30min remote session under the same conditions only uses 9% battery. While we feel this level of performance is acceptable to most people, we want to give our users even more control, allowing them to utilize Mobile Defense in a way that works best for them.

For that reason, in a future release we will be providing users with the capability to throttle up/down the update interval and update duration between their phone and our web servers during a remote session. This will allow users to prioritize performance, battery drain, and responsiveness as they see fit. While this is just one of many enhancements in the pipeline, we feel it is a significant step towards empowering our users.

T-Mobile website down for maintenance

  • Posted by Stuart at 10:54 PM
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If you’re having problems accessing your T-Mobile SMS to email filters per our YouTube video, please be advised that it appears parts of their website are down for maintenance. As suggested, we recommend trying again later and if the problem persists contact T-Mobile at 1-800-T-MOBILE or dial 611 from your T-Mobile phone.

Mobile Defense 1.0.7 released on the Android Market

  • Posted by Stuart at 9:46 PM
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This release patches a small bug we introduced in version 1.0.6. The only users that should have been affected were those updating from an old version of Mobile Defense to version 1.0.6. The issue simple forced existing users to re-enter their credentials and reconnect their phone to their account after updating. While in some releases this process might be necessary, it was not in this particular update. To avoid the unnecessary headache we thought it was prudent to release a quick patch.

Mobile Defense 1.0.6 released on the Android Market

This is a much awaited update for users experiencing problems with their phone number not being detected during registration. This issue was caused by a missing or invalid phone number (aka MSISDN) on some users’ SIM cards. This can be confirmed, by navigating to: Settings > About phone > Status then looking at the phone number field. Most likely this value is blank when it should be equal to your current phone number. You can confirm your current phone number by dialing #686# from your Android device.

One way that users can address this issue is to contact T-Mobile and have them update their SIM card over-the-air. While most of our users had success following this route, we felt it hindered the overall user experience. So, in response to user feedback, we have implemented a work-around which will allow affected individuals to manually enter their phone number if we can not automatically detect it from their SIM card.

Visit our forums to get help, view known issues and request new features: http://support.mobiledefense.com

Enhanced activity feed for Mobile Defense

  • Posted by Stuart at 8:14 PM
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We are happy to announce that we have overhauled our existing activity feed for Mobile Defense. In addition, to having a cleaner UI we have made some significant improvements under the hood. Our new activity monitoring system is much more powerful then its predecessor, providing us with the flexibility and scaleability needed to roll out some of the exciting new features we have planned.

Not sure if that remote lock command you issued was successfully performed on your phone? No problem. Simply login to https://www.mobiledefense.com and click on the “Account” tab to view your activity feed. From there you can confirm whether or not remote commands issued through the dashboard (e.g. track, lock, alert, backup, etc.) were successfully performed — you can even see when they actually occurred on the phone. We are also continuing our efforts to enhance our SIM alert capabilities. You should now get a high priority alert (denoted with a red icon) when your SIM card has been swapped out or if any key data on it has been modified.

While we have a ton of other fixes and enhancements going on behind the scenes for Mobile Defense, we recognize the importance of empowering our users with timely and accurate information. We hope that as we continue to enhance our activity feeds section that it will do just that. Have some feedback about this feature or others? Please visit us at http://support.mobiledefense.com and let us know what’s on your mind.