Review: Locate My Kindle (Kindle Fire Edition)

Review: Locate My Kindle (Kindle Fire Edition)

Locate My Kindle (Kindle Fire Edition)
published by Lab4Apps
first published 2012
price at time of writing: $1.99

This was my first bad experience with a Kindle app.

As regular readers know, I don’t tend to write bad reviews of anything. :) I’m a big believer in things having value for different people. As a geek, I tend to find something entertaining in pretty much anything…I think that’s an intellectual strength. When someone says that something is “useless” on one of the Amazon forums, my first thought is usually, “Then you haven’t looked at it very creatively.” ;)

This is a case where, for me, I have to make an exception…

I got this app because the question comes up a lot…the ability to locate a lost or stolen or Kindle.

I’ve seen a similar app demonstrated on an iPad, and it worked very well, and I tried one on my SmartPhone, and it also worked well.

I knew that software pinpointing your location on a Kindle Fire would be different, because it is wi-fi only. There’s no GPS, for that matter. However, I also knew that there are ways for software to triangulate your position using wi-fi networks, so I thought it might work.

It failed me in three important aspects;

  • It couldn’t locate the position of my Kindle Fire at all accurately
  • It seemed to significantly drain my battery charge…constantly
  • It couldn’t be turned off and was hard to uninstall

I could have added that it wasn’t free, but not everything has to be free. :)

Now, it’s possible that it would be more accurate for other people on other wi-fi networks and with other wi-fi networks around them. If it was accurate, you might not care about the battery charge drain, and you wouldn’t be trying to uninstall it…so you wouldn’t care about that.

That might explain why there are 108 five-star reviews out of 270.

I’m going to tell you about my experience. I would actually warn people not to buy this, but hey, it’s up to you. I considered not even linking to the product, but you might want to read the reviews, and you might click on it and then buy something else. ;)

Location accuracy

So, I downloaded it, opened it, and set it up…that was all reasonably easy. I turned it on to have it give me my current location…it was literally a couple of cities away! It gave me a specific address, which had nothing to do with where I was. I would guess it was a good ten miles off. It nicely informed me that it was a low accuracy result…and suggested that I move the Kindle Fire to a different wi-fi network. Well, that’s not going to help me much if it’s fallen behind the couch. :) With this, I would literally not be able to tell if it was in one of the places I work or at home.

This morning, I tried it at Starbucks, so I’d be on a different network. It showed my location as hundreds of miles away! This time, it didn’t even tell me it was inaccurate. I think it might have been showing me some kind of Starbucks hub, not sure.

Battery charge drain

I didn’t connect this at first, but I noticed my battery was draining super quickly compared to normal. During my normal use during the day (which may include text-to-speech for an hour or two and playing apps for less than half an hour, in addition to reading), I might expect it to get down to the low seventies in the percentage. Oh, I do charge it in the car sometimes while it is reading. Anyway, I looked at the Fire, and it was down to something like forty percent. That was a big drop! I don’t think I’d installed another app during the period.

One reason for that may be that it was recording its position (incorrectly) several times a day. That’s even when the app isn’t open…it’s just constantly running.

Uninstalling

I decided to uninstall it, due to battery charge drain and the fact that it hadn’t given me useful information.

I did a “long press” (hold your finger or stylus on it for about a second) to remove it from the device. When I tried it, there was a big orange (which normally means that it is active on the Fire…I apologize if that isn’t a good description of the color) that said to “Login”, and it was explaining that I would have to login to uninstall it.

When I would tap on Login, it would drop me out of the program! Right back to the Carousel…

I figured I’d try removing it from

Settings Gear – More – Applications

No dice: same situation. I could not uninstall it without logging in, and it wouldn’t let me login.

I guess the concept there is that, if a thief got your Kindle Fire, you don’t want the thief to be able to turn it off. However, shouldn’t I be able to do that with the password? If not, what’s the point of the password?

So, I got home, logged into the site on my computer, and then I was able to authorize the uninstall from the computer. I suspect that’s what the Login button was trying to tell me…but that could have been done much more clearly, if that’s the case.

After I authorized the uninstall from the website, then I could uninstall it on the device.

Overall, as you can tell, I would not recommend this to anybody. If you have had a good experience with it, please comment on this post and let me and my readers know. I’d love it if people were getting something positive out of this app. :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

 

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16 Responses to “Review: Locate My Kindle (Kindle Fire Edition)”

  1. Sheryl Painter Says:

    Bufo – I’m so glad you had the same experience as I did with this app. I left a negative review of these same issues, and got an email from the company that I must have not used it correctly. That pretty much set them as a “no buy” company. I’m not tech challenged usually, and after seeing your comments, know it’s the app and not the user. I was always one or two cities away no matter where I tried from. THANK YOU for posting this.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Sheryl!

      Yay! I’m glad to have good feedback on this. Even though I think it is true and fair, I was still reluctant to say it.

      I’m not bragging, but I can reasonably assess myself as above average with electronic technology (I have been teaching it for years). I figure if I’m having trouble with something, the average person may have trouble with it. ;)

      • Sheryl Painter Says:

        I agree. I seldom leave negative feedback, but this app just didn’t work right. And I had to learn how to uninstall like you did – trial and error. As for tech level, I’m the one our hospital’s IT department refers people to when they have problems they can’t solve…and I don’t work in IT I work in PR. So if I’m having trouble, and you had trouble, there is a big issue with the app – and the company just blamed the user with me. Shows how much they want to get honest feedback and work with issues. Keep blogging! I learn so much from you! You’ve been my guide since 2009!

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Sheryl!

        That’s so nice of you to say! May I quote you on the “Thanks for the kind words” page of the blog?

        It makes a very big difference to me how the customer service is for a product. Amazon generally has really superior customer service, and that’s one of the reasons I recommend them.

      • Sheryl Painter Says:

        You have my permission.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Sheryl!

        Thanks, I will do that. :)

  2. Monica Says:

    Bufo-
    I have read the bad reviews now, but not before I made the purchase, however it does work for me so far. It found my home location immediately and once I finally let it out of my hands I could find it with my husband in a hospital maybe 10 miles away. I wasn’t paying attention to battery drain, but will now keep an eye on it. I still believe that it would only help in telling me if I left it somewhere, as if someone stole it, and deregistered it, useless, right?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Monica!

      I really appreciate you telling me you like it! I want everything to bring good into the world. :)

      You know, if the Kindle was deregistered, it might still work. When I’ve deregistered a Kindle Fire, the apps were still there…not sure if I tried to use one, though.

      Resetting it to factory defaults would stop it, though. I don’t think that one app could stop that.

  3. Nancy Mullin Says:

    I just got a Kindle Fire last week and stumbled onto the LocateMyKindle app and bought it. It showed my home address the first time I checked it. Today I mailed my Kindle to a friend about 160 miles away. So, it should be in a postoffice distribution center somewhere between here and there this evening so I tried to Locate and it still shows my home address. Does the Kindle have to be turned ON for it to work? If so, when it gets to my friends house, I will see that it is turned on then try again to Locate. If it doesn’t, I will uninstall it. Do you know of any other apps that will find a lost Kindle? Thanks, Nancy

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Nancy!

      If the Kindle Fire is actually off, it wouldn’t be able to transmit its approximate position. When it is turned on at your friend’s house and connects to wi-fi, it should make an attempt. As I’d mentioned, it didn’t work for me, but it may work for you. I’d be interested to hear back from you about the accuracy.

      If you bought it from Best Buy and you still have the receipt, there is this one:

      LockedAndFound

      Here are a few that I found looking through the Amazon Appstore for location apps that work on the Fire…I have not tried any of these:

      Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile

      MYAndroid Protection Antivirus

      VirusSeeker Mobile Security

      • Nancy Mullin Says:

        Just to let you know, my Kindle finally got to my friend’s house in Clovis and I ran Locate my Kindle and it gave his address! So far, so good.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Nancy!

        Thanks for letting me know! It didn’t work that way for me, but I’m glad it’s working for you. :)

      • Nancy Mullin Says:

        Now, my only concern is that it might run my battery down faster than it normally would. I read that somewhere, maybe on your forum. I don’t remember. Anyway, it is in the process of being rooted so when I get it back I’ll find out. To be honest I don’t even know how long it should last since one of the first things I did was install Locate. We’ll see! Thanks for being here.

  4. Round up #178: Screaming Kindle, DecalGirl discount | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] tried a Kindle Fire locating app before and it didn’t work well for me, but now I’ve found a free one that does…and has […]

  5. Karen Shirey Wenrich Says:

    I just bought the app before I found this review. I can’t find instructions on how to try to use it. I verified my email and got a message that it was verified but that was all. No instructions on how to test it. Could you tell me how to test it in case I lose it?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Karen!

      Have you gone to

      http://my.webrootanywhere.com

      ?

      Once you go there and log-in, you’ll go to Mobile Security. You should see that your tablet “needs attention” there.

      After you take care of that, you’ll be able to go to Lost Device Protection on that site. You can see its location, make it scream, or lock it from there.

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