If there's one persistent problem with the iPhone, it's its desirability as a device. That shiny black and glass fascia, and user intuitive software really does appeal to us. Unfortunately, most of the time it also appeals to a different group of people. A group of people with the sole intention to steal. With the introduction of Mobile Me, we saw Apple try to combat this age-old situation, introducing for every one of it's users the ability to track their devices, directly from their online account from anywhere on the globe.
Before Apple showed it's hand though, there was one prolific company who were set on making tracking stolen devices - specifically iPhone's and Macintosh computers - their sole business. That company was of course Belgium-based software developers, Obicule. When their security software, Undercover, came to the iPhone, it hit the mainstream. But there were also the usual critics. See, the problem was that the software would only work as intended if the actual application was open on the stolen device. Today, Obicule are announcing what they deem to be a major update to Undercover for iPhone, version 1.5, and sees this exact launch-to-function issue, resolved. In a stark move, this update now adds adding the ability to remotely open the app on the stolen device.
So, How does it work? Well, Obicule have revealed that harnessing a clever use of push notifications, the user can remotely send the stolen device a push notification alert, (rather similar to 'Find My iPhone' on Mobile Me), therefore been able to ensure that the owner of the device can remotely open the application, allowing the tracking of the device. Upon registration at the Undercover Center, you'll be able to access your 'Undercover' account online, from anywhere, and once the app is activated, this account will store the devices location and IP information, allowing you to track it under the radar.
To me, this update from the company really proves the true potential of and how powerful Apple's Push Notification Service can be; and that if more developers put their mind to it, the service could in fact be used for more than just status updates and alerts. It seems the update is already live on the App Store, so if you are an Undercover user, I say go and grab it!