For most people today, their smartphone is the most important tool they own. It not only contains all their contacts and call history, but also truckloads of personal information, photos, videos, emails, ebooks, credit card details, mobile wallet access, and a whole lot more. So losing the precious smartphone will be a huge shocker for anyone.
There is one more thing you can do on both your Android as well as iOS devices which might help you getting back or at least safeguard your data. Both the platforms have a service which lets you track or lock your smartphone. If you are on Android, you should install ‘Android Device Manager’ and if you are on iOS, you can get Find my iPhone.
1. Android Device Manager
Android Device Manager is a Google’s official and easy-to-use tool to track your Android phone or tablet. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to install an app to be able to track your devices. The only requirement is that your device is connected to your Google account, turned on and connected to the Internet.
In case there’s no laptop around when you lose your device, you can also use someone else’s Android phone to track it. Instead of using the mobile browser, you can also use the Android Device Manager app.
- Your device is connected with your Google account.
- Your device has access to the Internet.
- Allowed Android Device Manager (ADM) to locate your device (turned on by default). This can changed in the Google Settings app.
- Allowed ADM to lock your device and erase its data (turned off by default).
2. Find My iPhone
While Android Device Manager does the job on an Android device, Find My iPhone does exactly the same thing on an iOS device, prominently on an iPhone. Interestingly you don’t necessarily need ‘Find My iPhone’ app activated on your device to find your iPhone which is an added advantage in this case. In other words, Find My iPhone works over the cloud and you just need to login to your Apple ID via browser or otherwise an app on another Apple device.
Open the browser, type in icloud.com and log in with your Apple ID after which you will find an option called ‘Find iPhone’ on your main screen. Navigate to the option and select the device to locate. Once located, you then get three options namely – Play Sound, Lost Mode and Erase Data.
Play Sound option will make your Apple device ring which is ideal if you misplaced it at your home or workplace. Activating Lost Mode will lock your Apple device and display an optional phone number to which one can call if he/she finds the device. Lastly, the Erase Mode will wipe all your data from the device if you think it has gone into wrong hands.
3. Google Maps location history
You can use Google Maps to track your phone, in the event it is turned off or disconnected from the internet. All you need is to have Location Reporting and Location History activated on your device.
Just use your Google account through a web browser to access the Location History feature, make sure the current time frame is selected, and you can see the last location your phone pinged. If the phone is turned off, or disconnected, it won’t show you any real time results, but it’s the next best thing in case you dropped your phone while pub hopping and its battery died. It can also be useful to notice movement patterns, which could be your thief’s home or workplace.
4. Samsung Find My Mobile
Another worthy mention is Samsung’s official Find My Mobile app. For this, your phone needs to be connected to the internet, your device needs to be registered with your Samsung account, and you need to have Find My Mobile set up.
To locate your phone, go to the Find My Mobile website and log in. Check the sidebar on the left to make sure your phone is registered, and select ‘Locate my device’. If your device is connected to the internet, it’ll give you an approximate location for your phone, and also lets you make it ring, send a message to the phone and wipe your data.