How to: find your phone

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

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.

JEN­NIFER DUD­LEY-NI­CHOL­SON

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