Apps | Locates lost or stolen smartphone – Plan B, Find My iPhone

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When your dear smartphone is lost, Plan B, Find My iPhone and other apps can reunite you. They find iPhones & Androids so check them out now before it’s too late!

By David Pogue

Last week, I lost my iPhone on a train. I used Apple’s Find My iPhone feature to track it to a house in suburban Maryland, and the local police were able to return it to me. Because I’d tweeted about these developments, the quest for the phone became, much to my surprise, an Internet-wide, minute-by-minute real-life thriller.

Plan B video demonstrates its use

Several readers wrote to ask how to set up their own phones to be findable. As you’d guess, given last week’s experience, I have some strong feelings about the importance of setting up Find My iPhone or the equivalent on Android phones.   

First, though, some caveats.

These phone-tracking systems work only if your lost phone is turned on and online; if its battery is dead or it’s powered off, it can’t see the Internet and can’t show you its location.

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Locate a lost or stolen iPhone with Find My iPhone app

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More Ways to Find a Stolen or Lost iPhone – 12 apps/services to help get your phone back

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Having a stolen or lost iPhone is bound to give you a sinking feeling in your stomach – there’s $200-$500 down the drain. But just because the iPhone’s not in your hands anymore doesn’t mean you can’t get it back. Whether your phone was just lost or has been stolen, these apps and tips can help you recover it and save yourself from having to buy a new phone.

1. Device Locator


Unlike some of the others on this list, the Device Locator app doesn’t require a monthly subscription. Instead, this US$4.99 app lets you log into a web-based account to track the location of a phone, cause it to make noise, lock the phone to prevent access by a thief, and more.

 

2. FoneHome

FoneHome offers GPS-based location of lost or stolen iPhones, as well as the ability to remotely take photos (maybe you’ll snap a pic of the thief), play a sound (to help you find your iPhone in the couch), and track information online. Unlike many other apps, it does not require a subscription service, meaning that $1.99 is all you’ll pay.

3. GadgetTrak

A web-based service that attempts to trick thieves into sending location data about your phone to its servers. With that information, you can log into a web console to locate your iPhone by GPS, map, IP address, and more. While the company charges for its service on other platforms, as of this writing  it is free on the iPhone.