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Thursday, December 9, 2010

My own recovery story

Hey all,

it really IS incredible, I can tell you. I am the main developer of Theft Aware and this weekend it really happened that i could use Theft Aware by myself to protect me from theft and loss.

So what happened? I went to downtown on Saturday to have a few drinks together with friends. After a long and happy night suddenly i discovered that my jacket was gone. And with it my car keys, my flat keys, my credit and debit cards, aaaand... my mobile phone. Now i can tell you, i was really shocked. I had tested Theft Aware improvements the day before and did NOT enable the Theft Aware protection on my phone. You know, always turning it on and off during testing is a bit time consuming. I was sooo sad - could it happen to the TA developer himself to loose the mobile phone and all the other stuff with TA INSTALLED on it, but not enabled? All the world would laugh at me for being THAT stupid...

However still no problem. I am sure you remember that we are building internet remoting features into the platform and luckily one of that features will be to enable Theft Aware protection remotely (e.g. if you forgot to enable Theft Aware in time). So - i just used that feature to enable protection and get a track of my phone.

Then i was waiting - but not for too long. Suddenly i got an SMS back containing the coordinates of the phone. Someone has moved my jacket to another place in the club i was going to and as soon as i opened the Theft Aware maps link i knew that the phone was still in the club location. I went there and luckily the guys there were just cleaning up - and i got it back: my phone, my jacket, my keys, my cards, my gloves... EVERYTHING.

I was soooo happy - imagine the cost alone to replace all the items i would've lost without Theft Aware. Imagine the troubles of getting back into the flat, into the car without a key...

Wish you the same good luck i had - so get Theft Aware NOW! :-)

best regards,
Reinhard

Friday, December 3, 2010

Theft Aware 2.0 running on Samsung Galaxy Tab

Hello world! :-)

We just tested Theft Aware 2.0 on a Samsung Galaxy Tab and it runs PERFECTLY. Check out the video here!

greez,
Reinhard

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

OK, now listen to this - there's big prizes to win with Theft Aware!

Hey all,

i got a good day, really a good day. Android Police released a great review about Theft Aware, our great Android and Symbian smartphone theft protection app. Also AndroidPIT, one of the biggest german Android app sites covered us with glory. And in the Symbian world we are receiving great downloads from all over the globe.

First of all this is a big honour to a startup like us. And this really makes me feel as if the work we did with Theft Aware was excactly what the global anti theft market needed. So this is good, very good. Also i have the feeling that our customers are happy with what we did which is always a good thing.

Because of that i am now issuing some big prizes to all of those who help us promote Theft Aware 2.0:

1ST PRIZE: an Android or Symbian phone of YOUR choice, for YOUR network, which we'll root (Android only) and on which we'll install a VERY SPECIAL version of Theft Aware 2.0, CUSTOMIZED TO YOU!


2ND PRIZE: EUR 100 in cash


3RD-20TH PRIZE: one free Theft Aware license for a lifetime - not bound to the IMEI which means it will stay valid also if you change your phone

Now, that i got your attention, I'll tell you how to participate in our contest.

How to Win

There are several ways on how to participate in the contest and increase your chance of winning. See a list of achievements below, each associated with achievement points. Whenever you can prove to us that you completed one of the achievements those achievement points will be booked to your winning chance.

Lets do an example as i am not native english speaker... :-) Lets say, participant A achieved 25 achievement points during the contest duration. Participant B achieved 50, participant C achieved 10 and participant D achieved 15 achievement points.

The total number of achievement points is now 100. This means then that participant A has a chance of 25% to win, B 50%, C 10% and D 15%. Each prize will be rolled against the whole list of participants. No participant can win 2 prizes.

Step 1 - Gain Achievements

  • 1 ACHIEVEMENT POINT: Follow ITAgents on Twitter, then tweet the following message exactly as below (replace #Android by #Symbian respectively, if you are a Symbian user):

    Entered to win great Theft Aware prizes from @ITAgents after visiting their blog at http://bit.ly/fW86J3 #Android

  • 1 ACHIEVEMENT POINT: like the Theft Aware website on Facebook, then like the entry for this article.


  • 4 ACHIEVEMENT POINTS: share a link to the Theft Aware main website on your Facebook page.

  • 8 ACHIEVEMENT POINTS: link to the Theft Aware main website from your legitimate website. We will decide if the link source website you used is eligible for the contest by common sense.

  • 25 ACHIEVEMENT POINTS: post a minimum 300-word review about Theft Aware on a legitimate Blog. We will decide if the Blog where you posted the review is eligible for the contest by common sense. It is not allowed to just copy the content of other blogs, it has to be your own creation. Just to give you a good example as a start, visit this blog post.

Step 2 - Fill out the Participant Form

Fill out this form, so that we know how to contact the winners.

Terms of Contest

The contest starts immediately and runs until 31st of January, 2011.

Winners will be announced here and notified via twitter, Facebook or email.

Good luck, everyone!

Reinhard - happy CEO of ITAgents

The Theft Aware Core Team aka CRAZY CREW


Hi all,

just thought it would be a good idea to show you who the core team at ITAgents is. Check out the pic below.

From left to right:
- Managing Director: Karl Prinz
- CEO: Reinhard Holzner
- Online Marketing: Mag. Werner Wilson

Plus our MANAGING PHONE: a Samsung Galaxy S running Theft Aware :-)

Do you still like us? :-)

best regards
Reinhard

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Theft Aware 2.0

Hey all,

finally i got some time to do another post here. As you maybe heard already, we released Theft Aware version 2.0 yesterday. I can tell you, the last weeks were hell of work and now i am very relieved that we got the release out of the door. Unfortunately our servers went down immediately after the release as lots of users accessed our website at the same time but we hope that we can handle further traffic better... we added another server to our array today.

So - whats new in TA 2.0? Check out the changelog that you can find on www.theftaware.com - its really HUGE. My honest opinion is that Theft Aware now really left competition behind and technologically leads the anti theft market.

We really want to thank all the beta testers that went with us on our journey to this release. The beta program started in April and all the testers put a lot of effort into testing the new release and also suggested great features that we then built into the product.

Last but not least i am very proud to announce that Theft Aware 2.0 was already rated on AndroidPIT and received their best mark EXCEPTIONAL which is just issued to the very best applications around. Thanks to AndroidPIT and again thanks to all the users that helped us put this great release into life. You can check out the test report BY CLICKING HERE, its in german but the english version will be released shortly.

So stay tuned - i am looking forward to the next version.

With best regards
Reinhard

Monday, September 13, 2010

Theft Aware Permissions

Hello - a lot of users already asked what permission Theft Aware needs and why it is requiring them. I like transparency so here's a list (applying to Theft Aware 1.5):

  • READ_PHONE_STATE: used for getting information like IMSI, IMEI, etc.
  • RECEIVE_BOOT_COMPLETED: used to start Theft Aware upon device boot
  • ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION: used to use network positioning module
  • ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION: used to use GPS positioning module
  • ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE: used for getting information about the network operator, the network state, etc.
  • CALL_PHONE: used for the CALL command, issuing an outgoing call
  • GET_TASKS: used to get a list of running tasks, needed for SMS hiding
  • PROCESS_OUTGOING_CALLS: used to catch the outgoing password call - this then launches the Theft Aware UI
  • READ_CONTACTS: used for the GET CONTACTS command to read the contacts database
  • READ_SMS: used for the GET SMS command to read the SMS database
  • RECEIVE_SMS: used to receive the Theft Aware SMS commands
  • RESTART_PACKAGES, KILL_BACKGROUND_PROCESSES: needed for SMS hiding
  • SEND_SMS: used to issue SMS replies to the remote control phone
  • WRITE_SMS: used for WIPE command to wipe the SMS database
  • WRITE_CONTACTS: used for WIPE command to wipe the contacts database
  • SET_PREFERRED_APPLICATIONS: used for parts of the device lock functionality
  • SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW: used for parts of the device lock functionality
  • INTERNET: used to enable internet for license activation
  • WRITE_APN_SETTINGS: used for WIPE command to wipe access point settings
  • WRITE_CALENDAR: used for WIPE command to wipe the calendar
  • WRITE/READ_HISTORY_BOOKMARKS: used for WIPE command to wipe the bookmarks

I hope this list helps you in understanding the permission requirements of Theft Aware. Additionally we guarantee that we do not abuse any of the permissions requested. You really can trust us.

best regards

Reinhard

Thursday, August 5, 2010

TheftAware 2.0 is getting closer

Here are some short but very good news from the development of TA 2.0.

Right now we are testing the final beta of TA 2.0 with its great new features.
Here are some of them
  • getting GPS location if GPS is turned off (by turning it on)
  • Changing your settings via SMS command
  • regular getting phone information
  • ...

And as i said we have good news:

TheftAware 2.0 ist going to be published at the end of August / beginning of September

Stay tuned! :-)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Theft Aware - a little bit about history, the present, and... the future

ABOUT ME

Let me introduce myself. My name is Reinhard Holzner, i am maker of Theft Aware which is the #1 anti theft app for mobile smartphones based on the Android and the Symbian operating system. I am 31 years old... ok i am gonna go 32 on 7th of August but that's another story - just send presents to the official address of my company ITAgents interactive software solutions which you'll find on www.itagents.at :-). I am based in Linz, Austria - so i am a native german speaker please forgive me my bad english *smile*.

For starting up this blog i wanted to give you a little bit of background about Theft Aware and about my experiences regarding mobile development up to now.

THE PAST

It happened in early 2004 when i first ran into the problem of phone theft. I still remember, it was when i was sitting in a small restaurant for a cup of coffee, my newly bought Sony Ericsson P900 with me. This was a very expensive phone, i remember at that time i was very proud to own one. OK its out of date today, but at that time...! I went to the toilet and when i came back it was gone. OH NOOO! I was developing mobile games based on J2ME together with a graphics guy at that time so i was already into the mobile stuff - so i was thinking "How can we fix this problem?" and this was the time when the idea came up to develop a mobile app like Theft Aware.

I talked about that idea to friends and collegues and they all said it would be great to have something to track the phone in the event of loss or theft. So i - simply did it. This was the time when, after half a year of development, Theft Aware 1.0 hit the market. It supported S60 and UIQ, both Symbian based, the most widely spread operating system at that time. It was - really basic functionality but it worked. However i had bad luck. Symbian had no platform security at that time so within 3 days the tool was cracked and the sales did not develop very good.

Additionally one month later the first phones with Symbian 3 came out, having lots of platform security built in. As you maybe know Theft Aware, one of its core features is its invisibility. It was always key to me that an anti theft tool has to be invisible, as thiefs finding such software would instantly hard reset the stolen phone. Theft Aware 1.0 already offered that feature, but when platform security came up it did not work anymore because for this i would have needed special security permissions that you could only get from the device manufacturers themselves, which was impossible to do at that time. Competition came up, ignoring any invisibility features, while i could not develop Theft Aware for Symbian 3rd and 5th edition as i did not get the permissions for my beloved invisibility feature.

As a result the project stalled for several years. Until the iPhone came up. Honestly the iPhone did a lot of pressure on Symbian manufacturers and at that point in time, approx. 2 years ago, i finally was able to negotiate the permissions that i needed for my feature. Imagine how happy i was then - now i could really implement my cool software for the newest Symbian phones. Senseless to say that iPhone never came into my mind - such cool features are not possible on that phone as its too restricted to developers all over - also i do not like the proprietary philosophy that Apple maintains constantly (to iPhone users: i am sorry about the bad signal reception, but maybe it will help to hold the phone in a different way? :-). However in Nov 2009, after another year of development i was able to release the 1.5 version.

And one month later, also the Android version was finished. It was not easy to do because there was no way to hide the app from the installer which was possible on Symbian because of the permissions i got. Luckily i had another idea - to rename the app to a customer specified name during the setup phase. Hurray! :-)

TODAY

Which brings me to the present. Theft Aware 1.5 is out in the market now for some time and i got a good user base. There is fans who help me design graphics, set up blogs and help me with beta testing new releases.

Honestly, the 1.5 version is very good but very basic as well. It does its job but it is in no way as advanced as i imagined an anti theft app in the first instance, back in 2004.

So while selling against strong competition which ignores user demand, i continued to work on the upcoming 2.0 version, together with lots of beta testers i am building the ultimate anti theft app - since half a year.

All my friends support me in my efforts. My best friend Werner is helping with online presence. Another friend of mine, Karl, is investing into my company and we will join our forces this week to found a new company on limited basis to better enable the idea to grow in the future. And we have lots of valuable customers who love our product and spread the idea.

THE FUTURE

Theft Aware 2.0 will come up in August - this will be a major release, taking the product one step further to make it the perfect anti theft tool for everyone. Lots of technological enhancements, complete UI rework, tons of new features hopefully will make even more customers even more happy. We are already planning version 2.5 which will then complete the project, containing several enhancements that did not make it into 2.0 but which will be important for even more widespread usage of the tool. And as a promise: we will not be afraid of competition, we will not copy other vendors, we will continue to implement my innovations from 2004 and those that came up over time. And we WILL make the PERFECT anti theft tool - no matter what happens. :-)

Also at ITAgents we are planning completely new software. Stuff that will make our lives easier, more secure and making our mobile phone experience even more fascinating than before.

I hope that i will be honoured to have you as a customer or beta tester soon, just visit us at www.theftaware.com to learn more!

Oh my god... i have to continue implementing cool stuff... i hope you forgive me if i stop dropping my thoughts now - i'll come back later here to continue my blogging and maybe tell you a bit more about technology or some ideas on tips & tricks about Theft Aware...

with best regards from Austria,
yours,
Reinhard

Monday, July 19, 2010

Welcome to the Theft Aware Blog

Welcome to the official blog of www.theftaware.com.

Here you will find everything new about Theft Aware or other interesting
stuff. Do you want to join as a blogger? Just drop an email to reinhard (at) itagents (dot) at and maybe you can get started soon!