Author Topic: Theft Aware vs. Avast!  (Read 5927 times)

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Offline Cadstar

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Theft Aware vs. Avast!
« on: December 20, 2011, 10:34:13 PM »
Hello all,

First let me say I was unhappy about the IT Agents merger with Avast! In my past experience when software I like, use, and pay for gets bought out by a larger company, they steal one chunk of good code and crowbar it into their existing product. I never seem to be happy with the end result.

This new Avast! for mobile however has surprised me. I actually like it! Yes it appears they crowbarred in the great anti-theft code from theft aware, and it may have been last minute,  but it works well. It even prompted me to uninstall the older Theft-Aware I had still installed, but disabled.

Avast! allows you to setup the anti-theft features almost exactly as it was done in Theft Aware, so very familiar process there. The ability to install as a hidden system app with your own custom name is still there (woot!).

One issue I see thus far:
  You can hide the anti-theft, but you can't hide the fact that Avast! is installed.
  Seems a bit counter-intuitive to me. If the thief knows anythong about Avast!, it would be
  easy to determine that Avast anti-theft is also installed, but hidden.

I would like an option to hide the entire app. It is possible - look at "Call Blocker Invisible" by GreyThinker. It's an incredible call and sms filter - it installs with an invisible icon with no label in your app drawer. (If you use LauncherPro you can even hide this stealth icon!). I am hoping I can replace that software with Avast! as well if I can get same high quality call/sms filtering that "Call Blocker Invisible" gives me.
I think the stealth aspect of Avast! is incomplete without this functionality, What do you think Avast! devs??

Only have only used Avast! for a day or so, but I have one gripe so far:
 -the password input screen is dog-slow!!

Can you fix this? I have a Moto Droid 3 - the screen blurs out in a Vista UAC way when you go to enter your password, so maybe this can't be fixed? The only other time I see this happen is when I long-press the main power button - it does this when the shutdown menu comes up - there is no text  input available there so I have nothing to compare with.

Other than this, it appears there are some internal optimizations to be done, the Avast! software interface isn't as responsive as I have come to expect with apps on my still relatively new Droid3, so I completely understand - we are still beta of course.

I generally don't like all-in-one security/anti-virus/ect software, especially on my android devices, but I am very impressed with this new Avast! mobile - seems like a very polished product for being in beta stage!

I was a paid Theft-Aware Unbound License customer, and I am not too happy about the fact that we have moved to a completely free product, and I really don't  quite understand. I thought you have an existing policy of a way to have a paid version of Avast on your PC? Thought it acquired more features or something if you paid for it? I ha vent used it in a while, so maybe things have changed? Why don't you do that with the android client?

Just wanted to post my opinions thus far.
Good work, looking forward to updates!

-Motorola Droid 3
  -rooted and safestrapped

Offline reinhardholzner

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Re: Theft Aware vs. Avast!
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2011, 12:51:02 PM »
Hi cadstar,

thanks for your very nice and extensive feedback. As the maker of Theft Aware first of all let me state that i love AVAST and the team in this company. We would have never done the move to merge with another company if we would not have had the feeling that this would be of benefit for our customers and for our company.

Regarding hiding: you have to understand that anti-virus and anti-theft are two different tools. anti-virus needs to be PRESENT and needs to inform users about threats in a very visible way, while anti-theft needs to be hidden and stealthy. so it makes no sense to hide the anti-virus part -> thats a conflict that can not be solved. now imagine, competitors merge everything into ONE APK - you can not solve that conflict in this case. However the user of Anti-Theft still has the option to remove the anti virus part if stealth is that important to him/her, Anti-Theft will continue to work also without it. but still, if you have installed anti-virus and its visible - there is a good chance that a thief will find that installation, remove it and think that the anti-theft part has been uninstalled as well. yet, its still there and working. Maybe a good trap and a good compromise after all - i think avast! is the only product that offers this option and thats a very unique selling preposition.

Regarding the password dialog: its slow because of the blurring. However this makes sure that unauthorized users will not be able to read the potentially secret data in the background of the dialog. Its a compromise and maybe in the future we'll come up with some other solution but for now we cant change it that easily so late in the development process.

Also, if you experience slow UI the reason for that is that we have a rather sophisticated UI for our tool. People do not like the standard UI and thats the price that one has to pay for a nicier, polished tool.

Regarding the pricing: i think it is wonderful that AVAST did a whole acquisition and gives that wonderful things to the customers for free. Right?

Let me hear your thoughts,

Offline Cadstar

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Re: Theft Aware vs. Avast!
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2011, 10:46:40 PM »
Hello Reinhard,

  Thanks for the information! You bring up a couple good points, and things I didn't know. It makes perfect sense that I can uninstall the anti-virus/call-sms filter/ etc, and just use the anti-theft (after I install it of course), but I honestly never considered that. The main app seems to be making my phone a lot less responsive than it was before, so I will do some testing withit uninstalled. There is no way to completely disable it? Like an off switch along the lines of the one the anti-theft has. I am thinking a nice one-click solution to disable all would be handy.

   The blurring screen when entering the password is certainly no problem for me - I was only looking for clarification that it was indeed a UAC type of security thing. This Droid3 is still new to me so I wasn't 100% sure that's all that was going on. Thank you. I do still find it annoying though - just as I find Window's UAC annoying!

   I am a Linux systems administrator by trade, and I don't have much use for the anti-virus, privacy checker, and firewall. I have been administering Linux for so long now I generally am safe enough without such tools thanks to years of experience. That said though I am still interested in the call/sms filtering and will be following it's progress closely.

   Yes. I guess it's a good point - hard to complain about something being free. My only gripe is that I paid for (unbound license) it long before it became free! Hahaha I can live with it though - not like it was too expensive to begin with!

   Regarding the UI - yes that's the highlight of the software. you guys have done a great job on that. I was very impressed, and I agree - to move forward and make improvements sometimes you have to endure such things. Looking forward to seeing the UI mature even more.

   I have one other gripe that came to mind last night as I was setting up call/sms filters:
It would be extremely handy to have an option in the dropdown for adding new numbers to filter groups so I could import numbers from the call log. IE: unwanted call comes in, it's in the l;log and easy to add to a filter group.
The Call Blocker Invisible has this feature and it is a big time saver instead of writing down numbers and adding them manually.

   I noticed there were avast! mobile updates just today, so I will stop typing, reboot my phone, and see how things have changed already.

Thank You!

Offline reinhardholzner

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Re: Theft Aware vs. Avast!
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2012, 04:13:25 PM »
Good news: in the next official update Mobile Security will contain an uninstall wizard for Anti-Theft which is also able to uninstall rooted installations (of course password protected).

Offline ubun2Junky

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Re: Theft Aware vs. Avast!
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 05:18:10 AM »
@reinhardholzner; I've been a huge fan of your software and was concerned when it switched over.  Like Castar, I too was reluctant to move over to the avast version of the software.  So I used my wife's phone as a guinea pig and removed theft aware and replaced it with Avast.  I too was impressed that all of the functionality was still there and it works just like the old software but with the added Avast features.

Only a couple of suggestions...  A PDF with more detailed documentation would be nice for us that like to stay up at night and read this kind of stuff.  The commands page is nice, but with all the added bells and whistles from Avast further documentation would be handy...

My other suggestion...  anyway we can perhaps build in a self-destruct feature?  Have the battery on the phone overheat and blow the crap out of the punk that stole the phone!   ;)

Offline Asyn

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Re: Theft Aware vs. Avast!
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 09:30:25 AM »
A PDF with more detailed documentation would be nice for us that like to stay up at night and read this kind of stuff.  The commands page is nice, but with all the added bells and whistles from Avast further documentation would be handy...
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