Lookout has been available since 2009 on Google's Android OS, but the developer has recently update the software and introduced several new features, so we thought it was time to put it through its paces.
Lookout is essentially a security app for your phone. It sits in the background monitoring for threats such as click-to-call scams, malicious weblinks, malware and spyware, while also backing up your data. This update has a redesigned homescreen and also some new, useful elements added to the find-my-phone feature.
There are two versions available: free and premium. The free Lookout version gives you the security protection, contacts backup, remote location and scream features, while the premium version adds 2GB of cloud storage for photo back up, a safe browser feature that scans for malicious links in the background and remote lock and wipe capabilities. These features cost either £1.99 a month or £19.99 for a yearly subscription.
The new homescreen on the Lookout Android app has been completely rejigged and now shows the current live activity of the app at the top of the screen with large shortcut buttons to the main features beneath. It makes it very easy to set up the software or to tell at a glance what its status is. The companion dashboard on the Lookout website is also very straight forward to find your way around and quick to use.
During our testing the app didn’t seem to put too much strain on our phone's resources as we didn’t notice any slow down when it was running. Nor did it seem to adversely affect battery life. The updated phone location features were also impressive. As well as simply being able to check your phone's current location from the Lookout website at any time, the software also cleverly makes the device ping its location to the server when its battery level drops below 10 per cent in order to give you the best chance of finding it even when it runs out of juice.
In fact, we only have two issues with the software. Firstly, the scream feature, which remotely triggers a loud siren on your phone to help locate it didn’t work reliably when we tried it. Sometimes the phone would sound the siren, other times the Lookout website would fail to connect to the phone within a reasonable timeframe in order to trigger the noise. Secondly, the Lookout Android app does not have an alert system for telling you in the phone's SIM has been swapped, something that is offered on McAfee's Mobile Security 2.0, which is similarly priced.
Lookout is easy to set up, isn’t a resource hog and generally works reliably. It's definitely one of the best security software options for Android users, especially with the improved find-my-phone features.