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. ;)
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.
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.