Pocket.do Review

Pocket.do Review

Oct 10, 2012

What is Pocket.do? Why, it’s an incredibly powerful tool for remotely accessing an Android device, one that provides useful features, but at the cost of battery life. A lot of it.

Start by downloading the app and running it on the phone, setting up a unique passphrase required to access the phone. The app can be remotely accessed from any web browser in one of three ways: by connecting a Google account, connecting a Facebook account, or by scanning a custom QR code on the phone itself in order to authorize the app. Then, the five features can be accessed. Text messages can be read from the web and responded to. New messages can be sent, and it’s possible to export lists of messages to a computer.

Need to remotely access contacts that are on the device? That’s posssible with Pocket.do. Pictures can be uploaded to the app and made accessible. Granted, these are both functions that other apps like Dropbox have also done, and have done them very well, so this may not serve much use.

Now come the fun things. Location allows for a device to be found based on its current map location. It can also be tracked to see where it is going. Need it to make an alarm sound? That’s possible through the map function as well. Great for finding that phone. It may serve as a rudimentary anti-theft feature, though turning off Pocket.do is pretty simple. It also would make for a very poor spying utility.

Also, there’s a Spy-Cam feature, which opens the camera and takes photos every 2.5 seconds. Flash can be enabled, and torch mode for illuminating what’s around. Note that the photos do seem distorted on a 16:9 device, there’s no actual video capture, and only the front-facing camera can be used with it.

The downside to Pocket.do as a tool for regularly checking SMS from the web is quite simple: it uses up too much battery life. I noticed at least a 15% drain in about 45 minutes on the Galaxy S III; not something for leaving around with the phone unplugged. As well, it sent about 35 MB of data over cellular at the time; if on a tiered data plan with wifi unavailable, that could be problematic. A low-power mode for just sending/receiving messages would be a great addition! Until then, this app serves as an interesting diversion, but maybe not quite the useful tool that it really could be.

Pocket.do Review Rundown

User Interface - Logging in is easy, though QR code scanning works best, but it requires a separate app.
Usefulness - Remote SMS works really well and could be this app's killer feature because of how well it works. But the battery life issues are a problem.
Performance - Battery life is a killer. Spy-cam mode could work better if the picture capture rate was much improved.
Value - It's free, and the remote SMS features could work well if the phone is plugged in.
Overall - Useful ideas here, but there's more to be done.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Carter Dotson
Carter Dotson, editor of Android Rundown, has been covering Android since late 2010, and the mobile industry as a whole since 2009. Originally from Texas, he has recently moved to Chicago. He loves both iOS and Android for what they are - we can all get along!
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