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So… you have lost your phone? Interviews conducted on 1,000 smartphone owners discovered UK adults will lose at least 2 mobile phones in their lifetime. A staggering 74% of the UK population own a smartphone, meaning an estimated 98,324,688 devices are currently missing! (Mobiles.co.uk (2020).

 

With the new iPhone 12 priced at £699 (Apple (2021), the cost of a missing phone can be massively inconvenient and often very stressful for us. Additionally, smartphones contain an abundance of sensitive, private information regarding your family and your own life. Therefore, loss of a device can result in both monetary issues as well as stress surrounding the privacy of our personal information. This article will hopefully prepare and/or help individuals who are currently missing their beloved smartphones; covering the necessary steps for Android recovery, iPhone location and alternative methods, involving the use of their phone number. 

Built-in phone retrieval technology

Thankfully, both Android and iOS systems contain useful built-in phone retrieval technology! These programs work via Google for Android and iCloud for iPhones, as part of their native software package. This means they should already be installed on your device! Allowing those who have lost track of their phone to: remotely lock, wipe sensitive information, send messages to those that locate your device, and even make it ring. However, these great features and the chances of tracking down your phone are heavily reliant on your phone’s battery holding up. Therefore, those with poor battery health may face additional time pressures when locating their missing device. 

Here’s some important articles regarding battery health, including some tips on preventing your battery from draining fast! 

(How to stop your Android battery draining fast (10 tips)

(Is your iPhone battery draining fast?)

How to find a lost iPhone

Find My iPhone is an app that comes pre-installed on current iOS devices. To begin this method, another iOS device must be used to locate your missing iPhone.

 

  • Firstly, tap Settings > Your Apple ID (name) > ‘Find My’.
  • Taking you to the ‘Find My sheet’ where you then tap ‘Find My iPhone’ in order to switch it on (if it’s off). 
    • (Note: It should never be off, otherwise alternative methods must be used).
  • With Find My iPhone switched on, also tap on the switches ‘Enable Offline Finding’ and ‘Send Last Location’. 
    • Helping you detect where you last mislaid your phone in case internet services are currently off.
    • With all those controls set to go, return to Settings > Apple ID and scroll down to see your devices in a list.
    • Tap the device you’re missing and it takes you to a ‘Device Info sheet’, allowing us to begin searching for it.
    • Finally, tap ‘Find My’ (iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch) and then tap ‘Show in Find My iPhone’ and it brings up both a map of its exact location and subsequent directions 

    • The service also gives you the option to play a sound on your device, mark the device as Lost, and send a message to your phone in lost mode.

     

      • You also have the option to erase the device, to protect sensitive and personal information in case it falls into the wrong hands.
        • In the case of robbery, iPhones default ‘Activation Lock’ requires the individuals Apple ID and password before disabling Find My iPhone
      • Find my iPhone can also locate your Mac, iPod, and iPad, just about any iOS device!
      How to find your lost iPhone

      How to find a lost Android phone

      Most devices with Android 2.3 or later can use the built-in feature called ‘Find My Device’. It’s important that ‘Find My Device’ is previously enabled, as it allows users to search “Where is my phone?” into Google, which initiates the service to search for the device. While it’s useful to set up this program, the service is still available by using GPS or Wi-Fi to regain your lost Android!

       

      • Go to Settings > Google (or Google services) > Security and make sure ‘Remotely locate this device’ is turned on in the Find My Device section.
      • You may be asked to sign in.
      • When you open the app or search in your desktop browser you’ll see all of your devices listed at the top, allowing you to select the relevant tab and find the particular device you have lost.
      How to find your lost iPhone

      How to find a lost phone using your phone number

       

      The strategies above often require previous setting up of accounts and individuals to remember their Apple ID/passwords. In these cases, an alternative method may be more useful in finding a missing smartphone. ‘Helpmobi’ allows geolocation of devices using your phone number!

       

      To locate a phone you must:

       

      • Fill in the phone number you wish to geolocate
      • Give us your email address or phone number to receive the position
      • Log in to your personal space to follow the phone in real time

      This may be a great back-up option, as this service is compatible with all mobile phones and operators, as well as being 100% secure and legal. However, this service comes with a subscription fee.

      How to find your lost iphone

      In conclusion, to prevent expensive replacement phone purchases, ensure all ‘Find My Phone’ systems are turned on. To ease the locating of any missing devices and provide you with the opportunity to protect or erase sensitive information on your smartphone. 

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