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Friday, March 18, 2011

Android - Contact Owner

One feature we find lacking in most modern smartphone OSes is an owner screen, which tells whomever finds your phone (should you lose it) exactly how best to contact you. Android phones don’t do this adequately, either, which forces even the most wellintentioned smartphone Good Samaritan to rifle through your synced email accounts for clues.

Contact Owner is a simple set-and-forget app that displays the owner’s contact information (or anyone’s contact information for that matter) on the Android lock screen, which could help get your phone returned to you before you even know it’s missing. Simply tap to launch the Android Market, tap the search icon, type contact owner, and then tap the search icon again. Select Contact Owner from the results, tap the Free button, and then tap OK to download and install the app. Access your apps, tap the Owner icon, tap Contact Information, and then select a contact from your address book. If this is your only phone, we suggest you choose a close friend or significant other to make sure the finder is able to quickly report the find with a phone call. Next, you’ll find a column of checkboxes that correspond to your selected contact’s details, such as Home Phone, Mobile Phone, Email Address, and Home Address. Tap the checkboxes for the information that you want displayed on the lock screen, and then press the Back key.

From the main menu, you can also alter the Text Before and Text After by tapping the appropriate options. By default, the Text Before is, “If found, please contact:” and the Text After is blank. On Android phones with smaller screens, you may find the slide lock has been shoved to the bottom edge of the screen if you try to display too much information, so try to limit the text shown in the Preview window to four or fewer lines total. Note that some HTC Android builds have custom unlock screens and don’t play nice with Contact Owner; if this is the case with your phone, you’ll likely get a warning and the application will prevent you from selecting a contact.

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