While there is no shortage of security apps on the Play Store, aeGis one stands out a bit for a few reasons. For starters, it's dead simple to use. Set up a specific trigger phrase and you can text your phone to lock the display, remotely wipe, find the address of, or sound an alarm from your phone. There's no web interface, unfortunately, but this app trades the elaborate suite of services of something like Avast for simplicity.

aegis1 aegis2 aegis3

What's even cooler is this app is entirely open source. Built by a member of the CyanogenMod team as a side project, the entire codebase is available on Github here. The app builds on SMSAlarm by adding the lock, wipe, and locate functionality. If an enterprising developer would like to improve it any more, they're free to do so under the GPL license. Naturally, aeGis itself is also free.

Everything except the alarm functions are disabled by default, so you don't have to worry about a mischievous friend or malicious enemy screwing up your device. You can set a custom phrase to trigger any of the app's functions, and are highly encouraged to do so. Leaving the triggers as the default is a great way to leave yourself vulnerable.

Update: I reached out to the developer and he explained that this app is U.S. only for now due to the way it handles addresses. When you text your phone from another device, it will reply back with a street address that it figures out from latitude and longitude coordinates using Geocoder. However, this only works in the U.S.. Once the dev figures out a way to support location for other countries, compatibility will be updated.

Update 2: The developer reached out to us to let us know that the app should be available internationally now. For international users, texting the phone to return a location will return coordinates, but might not return a street address. So just keep that in mind. Still, the information should be useful.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

    Really awesome as it doesn't rely on the internet connection! :D

    • cowgar

      well it does rely on:
      1. having mobile connection
      2. having the _same_ SIM card inside

      a potential thief will:

      1. switch off the phone
      2. take off the SIM card

      so this app, although open source, isn't as useful as competition which allows to track the phone no matter what SIM card is inside...

      otherwise, I love it - better than installing closed-sourced app from companies you've never heard of that knows _everything_ but kitchen sink, and maybe ironing your wife shirts... otherwise are full featured. And when you ask the devs that your privacy is on the table they do not know how to respond ;-)

      • needa

        not to mention the alarm is useless sinve phone needs to be unlocked first. and the notification that stays in notifications kinda defeats the purpose. but i will continue using it. i know it will get better. but as of now its not worth it imo.

        • needa

          i have not tested the unlocking the lock screen... but they did just update and the icon was finally able to clear off of the notification bar.

      • jubi

        You are right.. Why can't this app integrate with IMEI along with the sim card.. So we can remote lock it if anybody change the sim .... Dev can we do like this..

  • http://ridukkokun.wordpress.com/ Dukkokun

    Not avaible in Italy! :(

    • http://twitter.com/wstrmn Marc

      Also not available in Germany

    • http://www.facebook.com/HenriqueMelissopoulos Henrique Melissopoulos

      Not available in Brazil! :(

    • zeroboci

      and Poland

      • http://ridukkokun.wordpress.com/ Dukkokun

        AND MY AXE!

        • Firebomb

          and Switzerland, but use Market Enabler (google it + need root)

    • Kris

      Not available in Canada. Probably US only??

  • aNYthing6

    That's pretty nice. I already paid for Cerberus, but this is a nice alternative.

    • tlogank

      Agreed...app looks fine, but I've yet to see anything compare to the functionality of Cerberus.

  • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

    Incompatible with my Nexus 4 :( what gives?

    • needa

      its got to be sideloadable right? im gonna give it a try.

      edit: he must have fixed it because it installed fine for me.

    • Bradley BoyEs

      Odd, no problem getting it on mine. Are you running stock? I'm running AOKP.

      • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

        Hmm, I live in the UK...maybe it's not available in the UK?

    • Jimmy Li

      I'm using it now on my N4.

      • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

        Yeah it seems to be US only :( has anyone got the apk?

  • Sven

    I'll stick with Cerberus.

    • John
      • OmegaVesko

        Or Avast.

        • John

          Doesn't avast run all the time in the background?

  • Deepak Giri

    Not available in India!

  • JamJamBoom

    I ilke that this is open sourced, but ill be sticking with Androidlost. Does all of this and more, plus can be instralled AFTER the phone has been 'compromised'. Maybe in time.

    • needa

      so this app will install by clicking install from the pc? i have never been able to get that to work.

    • OligarchyAmbulance

      Maybe a dumb question, but why would you need to install it after the device is stolen (or whatever), rather then just having the app installed in the first place?

  • Zed

    Portugal: This item cannot be installed in your device's country.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      See the update in the post about country availability.

  • Scott Breitbach

    Odd, I'm in the US and I'm getting: "This app is incompatible with all of your devices."
    Edit: "REQUIRES ANDROID: 4.0 and up", my phone is on 2.3.4 and my other devices aren't phones, so that explains it.

  • Parker

    I am proud to announce that I have successfully locked myself out of my phone with this app. I had my friend text me the lock feature and of course, it locked up my phone, and am not sure about the password you have to use to type it back in. HAHAHAHA im so stupid. Still cant get in

    • Parker

      Anyone know the default unlock password?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        See Decad3nce's reply.

    • Bradley BoyEs

      I'm ashamed to say I did the same thing. I assumed it would lock it with my default security setup (pattern). It's not the lock code or your google password. Did a clean rom install and am now doing a TiBu restore >_<

    • Decad3nce

      Default password is aeGis

    • Ty Reid

      I did the same thing man. lol I was at work and didn't have time to mess with it. Thanks for the default!!!

  • Joe

    Now while this seems great and all, what I REALLY want a dev to come out with is an app like this one, but with the option or capability to remotely BRICK the phone in instances where one's phone is stolen. Like have a notification come up on the screen that the phone thief would see that says "F-you, hope you enjoy this paperweight that you stole from me!". Why isn't THAT out there yet????

    • UniBroW

      Personally, I know I wouldn't install something that could remotely brick my device.

    • Decad3nce

      I'll look into it.

      • mikeym0p

        Have it format the /system so the device can still be brought to a usable state in the right hands.

        • Joe

          No, I mean properly and permanently brick the phone, to totally screw the a-hole who stole it.

          • cowgar

            better yet to increase the vibration buzillion times so that it will make the liquids in battery burn and the phone will explode in the thief's hand...potentionaly the right way that the shrapnel from the gorilla glass will hit his both eyes

            well, I also blame google for not bringing the proper API to us...

          • mikeym0p

            I'm a little more conservative with what I'd want to happen. Best case scenario is that it gets returned to me in good condition. Be it the police, or the thief I freaked out with 'I know where you sleep now' or some other intimidating text that I could display on screen.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/SuperElvisfreshlyATT Freshly_Snipes

      This is a great idea. I don't want to wipe my phone and give the douche access to a free, clean device. F*ck that. I want him to feel like an a**hole.

  • http://twitter.com/belgianatheist Hugo

    don't understand why this would be restricted by country but it is, can't install in Belgium

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      See the update in the post.

  • hyperbolic

    "This app is incompatible with your Samsung GT-I9100."

  • Scott Warner
    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Broken link.

      • Scott Warner

        It was a G+ post that was update #1 btw. He deleted it after deciding to open it to everyone.

  • Paul_Werner

    Seems nice but I'll stick with Avast.... for now

  • Simon Belmont

    It would be nice if Google built this type of functionality into Android. This app looks good though, and Decad3nce is a well known developer in the community.

    It works well for me. I just gave it a try.

  • titooo

    Every time I see that kind of apps I ask myself when the hell will google make an app like this? It's something that should be embebed on system partition by default!

    • OmegaVesko

      It is pretty silly. Even Apple lets you remotely locate your iOS devices.

  • http://ridukkokun.wordpress.com/ Dukkokun

    Just to let you know, it's avaible to all countries! PS: dev replied to my mail, nice guy :)

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/SuperElvisfreshlyATT Freshly_Snipes

    YESSSSSSSS! Used all the features and they each work. All you have to do is SLOWLY read the instructions and don't rush. Fairly simple. I love this. Take that phone thieves.

  • Elias

    Trying to figure out if should I ditch Prey in favor of this.
    Prey warns me about new sim number if someone changes the phone sim (first thing a thief will do; without the right sim number i wouldn't even be able to shoot the "track me" sms). This is fundamental.
    Prey also has web control panel.
    HOWEVER, this thing works only by SMS, and this is a great plus because doesn't require a data connection (3g/wifi) which may not be available.
    Guess Ill use both this and Prey.
    (btw, i long for the day this will be embedded in cyanogenmod. Such security feature should be default.)

  • Spencer Hedrick

    Doesn't seem to read texts from Google Voice, but I might have done something wrong. Ill check it out some more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=656305002 Christian Johansson

    People stealing phones might be stupid but i'm quite sure they'll change the simcard pretty fast. Hope they'll add a webinterface later on.

  • Ankhwatcher

    I wish this and Cerberus would have babies.

  • didibus

    Does it require root?

  • steeven

    I want to use it to trace my car, it will be cool to know battery level, enable disable Google attitude, thanks

  • Lynyrd Dayton

    What's the default locate code?