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Locating Your Android Phone With Watchdroid and TextSecure

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For many years, I was using WatchDroid Pro to be able to locate and remote control my Android phone in case it gets stolen. The nice thing about WatchDroid is, that you don't rely on any cloud- or company-based infrastructure which is able to locate or control your device as well (privacy!). WatchDroid is using simple TextMessages with a secret keyword. For example, if you send (from any other phone) a text message with the content MYSECRETKEYWORD:gps, the GPS coordinates (with a Google Maps link) get sent back to this phone number. The text message does not show up on your device at all. That's neat!

However, with switching from any normal text message app to TextSecure (German blog post of me), I've lost the features of WatchDroid: TextSecure is using an encrypted data connection for communicating with other TextSecure users and incoming text messages get encrypted as well. This way, WatchDroid is not able to "intercept" incoming messages any more.

Today, I wrote an email to Androgone Development, the creator of WatchDroid. I would recommend you to do so as well, in case you are interested in having a privacy-enabled method to locate and control your phone in case you loose it.

From: Karl
To: androgone AT gmail.com
Subject: WatchDroid with TextSecure (from WhisperSystems)

Hi!

I was a proud and content user of WatchDroid Pro and I convinced
friends and family to buy this great piece of software as well.

However, since I am a privacy-aware Internet citizen (your target
group number one I guess), I switched from a normal SMS (text
message) app to TextSecure[1] to be able to communicate without
being spied on on regular basis.

Because of the different transportation channels (secured data
connection or text messages) and the encryption that TextSecure
provides, WatchDroid was not able to "read" incoming text messages
any more. I lost all features of WatchDroid :-(


  Therefore, I suggest you to probably fork TextSecure[1] or provide
  some kind of TextSecure plug-in or similar!


If you are open to this idea:

You should be very careful on not harming the security of
TextSecure. Probably you are interested in contacting the community
behind TextSecure in order to find the best strategy to get text
messages from TextSecure to WatchDroid. Probably implement this
TextSecure interface/plug-in on open source basis on GitHub as well.

In my opinion, you could get many new customers because
security-aware people also care about their precious smart phone.
And as I remember correctly, there is no method to locate my phone
in a privacy-aware manner without having to rely on a company-based
cloud solution.

I would really look forward to this and I would also buy some kind
of TextSecure-compatible WatchDroid version again.

Greetings from Graz/Austria!


[1] https://github.com/WhisperSystems/TextSecure/	  

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