How to: find your phone
YOUR mobile phone is important. Studies show you might not return to base to retrieve a forgotten wallet, but you would rush home to fetch your phone.
So what happens when you’ve not only forgotten but misplaced your phone? Apart from calling it and listening for a soothing ringtone, there are apps that can track its location from afar.
Apple’s Find My iPhone app is the most wellknown phone-finding service and it can also be used to hunt down internet-connected iPads or iPod Touches as well.
To use the app, phone owners must subscribe to Apple’s MobileMe service, on a free 60-day trial or at an annual cost of $119, and they must add the free Find My iPhone app to each device to be tracked.
Once set up, users can find each device using the Find My iPhone app or any web browser, be it on another smartphone or a computer.
It shows the gadget’s location on a Google Map and gives you the option to send a message or play a sound on the phone, or remotely lock or wipe data from the device in the case that it has been stolen.
Google Android users can also find their phones remotely. Phone-tracking apps include Where’s My Android, a free app that lets you set two ‘‘attention words’’ that trigger the phone into action.
Send one attention word to the phone by SMS and it can take the handset out of silent mode and sound your ringtone. Send the other attention word to your phone and, if the GPS service is on, it can locate your phone and send you details of its position.
Free phone-finding functionality also features in the new Windows Phone 7 software, and can be turned on when you sync it to your PC. Search results can be viewed on a website.
It is worth noting, however, that none of these apps can locate your phone beyond a street address. If you lose it in a bedroom, you will still have to find your phone in the oldfashioned way.