Yes, I know of PlanB for Android. It requires that your phone has a working Internet connection. So, again, won't work when I'm roaming abroad.
Actually I do not care how the solution technically does its tricks. Whether it is pull or push or whatever. I don't care how it is able to turn on location services. Don't care and don't want to know.
All I need to know is whether it is a requirement for the service to work that the phone has an active Internet connection. If so, it is pretty useless ... for me, that is.
I guess there are only so many ways to communicate with a mobile phone. As far as I know these are:
2. SMS (text messages)
3. Internet (either via WiFI or via the cell network packet data)
You will be surprised how many of these services (similar to Samsung's FindMyMobile) I've reviewed that fail to let you know if an active Internet connection is an absolute requirement or not. That is probably because the developer of the service has never thought of this as something that was a restricting requirement. That is not the case for me. I roam and I go abroad with my device. (meaning : no active Internet connection).
If you are clever (and especially if you have access to the lower levels of the phone, i.e. you are the phone's manufacturer) then I guess there are ways where you can utilize (1) and (2) on the list above to communicate 'stuff' to the device. I don't need to understand how but this is what I had hoped that Samsung was doing so that I could avoid the Internet requirement. This is why I started out testing Samsung's solution rather than something else. But I'm open to suggestions.
Just for reference I've reviewed Apple's solution called "Find My iPhone". (I don't have an iPhone, I'm just comparing). Unlike Samsung Apple are documenting quite clearly that they need the phone to have an active Internet connection for the service to work.
If you're traveling to other countries, it is recommended that you
enable Data Roaming, in case you lose or misplace your device and need
to locate it. To do this:
Tap Settings > General > Network.Turn the Data Roaming slider to On.
If Data Roaming is off, your iPhone or iPad Wi-Fi + 3G or 4G will
only be reachable when it is connected to a Wi-Fi network (like an iPad
Wi-Fi or iPod touch).
Note: Turning Data Roaming on can substantially increase your service provider costs. Contact your carrier for more information.
So at least Apple are open about it although I find the quote laughable. Turning on Data Roaming while abroad can cost you a leg and an arm so I doubt many people will do it. But this is a catch22 because it is exactly when you are abroad that you need these types of lost-and-found services the most.