As the name implies, Plan B is a good option for people who haven’t thought ahead and downloaded a lost-phone locator app on their Android phones before the phones go missing. This app lets you do it after the fact over the Web on the Android Market Web site.
Plan B will send follow-up e-mails for the next 10 minutes with updates on the whereabouts of the device. In order to locate the phone, Plan B sends a text via SMS and uses cell towers and GPS to locate the device, even if GPS is turned off.
If you aren’t able to find the phone within the first 10 minutes, you can use a different phone to text the word “locate” to your missing phone to start the process over.
I downloaded the app and it was close to finding my phone’s location, but it guessed that the phone was at a shop that’s just around the corner from where the phone was located on my office desk. The final e-mail pinpointing the location (I received five of them) indicated it had located the device within 24 meters, or about 79 feet, which seems fairly accurate.
To use the app you need access to the Android Market Web site and a Google account. Once the app is downloaded over the Web, an e-mail arrives in the associated Gmail account telling you the app is locating the phone, followed by another e-mail with a Google Map showing where the phone is.