We can all say that we felt the frustration of misplacing our iPhones, a least once during our time owning and using Apple flagship device. While anyone can say, they were stressed out by searching their phone, some of us experienced the desperation each time we lost our device. Just imagine every owner’s horror when they realize they had their iPhone stolen that was never found. Luckily there are means and ways to prevent loss or theft of your beloved iOS device thanks to a great inbuilt feature. Read on to discover the way of using it and keeping a piece of mind of not ever having to worry about misplacing it again!
How to keep track of your iPhone – the easy way?
Given the reputation of being one the most secure device on the market, the iPhone comes with plenty of inbuilt features that keep both the devices and users safe.
Apple offers a tracking service named “Find My iPhone” available for each iCloud connected device and this means that users can track their iPhone at all times with ease. All you need is a network connectivity and an activated iCloud account, of course.
This software feature works by locating the exact position of the lost or stolen device by using GPS coordinates as well as network cell location triangulation in order to show the position of the device on the map. This feature is also available on the rest of Apple devices ( running iOS version 5 and higher ) – including Mac, iPad and iPod touch and even the Apple watch ( running watch OS version 3 or newer ).
There are also third-party applications from the Apple store available with similar functionality, however, this is not the topic of this article so we won’t go into much detail about them. Let’s focus on how the inbuilt tracker works and what kind of accuracy does it offer.
How do I use it to find my lost iPhone?
The main purpose of Find My Phone app is to keep your device protected and easily discoverable in case you misplaced or in the case of theft. In order to use this neat feature, you need to complete an easy first set up of the device. After that, you can view your device location at any time using a browser on any device connected to the internet. For best experience and compatibility check Apples official requirements.
Not only can you monitor the location of your device – you are able to track and keep safe all of your family iOS running devices too! In order to be able to do so, it is necessary that each family member sets up and allows sharing their locations with the rest of the family.
Another great security feature is the possibility of remotely erasing all of the data stored on the device. The data backed up on the iCloud is unaffected by this. This is a must use option in case you have sensitive personal information stored on your device.
By setting up your Find My iPhone service you automatically enabling Activation Lock functionality that prevents anyone of using or selling your iDevice as it makes it effectively useless and inoperable to anyone else except you.
How accurate is the iPhone tracker?
Now that we explained the basics of how to use the functionality lets go into detail on precise is the tracking service and what it means to you. Apple uses a very clever way of locating and tracking your lost device. There is different functionality built independently and based on the type of circumstances of user’s loss of the iDevice. In case it got misplaced – users use the iCloud service to locate the device on the map.
This isn’t too helpful when the device is in the house or at any location where the user is at that time. right. In such circumstance, there is an option to play a sound on the target device so that it immediately reveals its location. The sound alarm doesn’t stop playing until the users find and interrupt the search on the device.
In the case of loss in a different location or even theft users can activate “Lost mode” to immediately lock your device. This requires an active internet connection in order to work as is intended. This feature doesn’t offer tracking functionality without the device being near the previously used Wi-Fi network.
The user can then write a custom message that will be shown on the lost device’s screen. This can be a phone number or address that will be useful for those that happen to find the lost device. Apple Pay feature also gets immediately suspended as well as any other credit or debit cards info stored.
Tracking of the lost iPhones and other iOS devices is very accurate. This is possible by use of GPS satellite navigation and Wi-Fi and cellular tower tracking. Using the iCloud online service users can monitor the location of their device in real-time on the map. Devices displayed with green dots represent online and devices with grey colour represent offline status.
Apple points out that the location is an approximation of the devices current or last location however in our use we found that it is very accurate in tracking and displaying the position and location at any given time. Using the map users can Zoom into the street level detail and greatly enhance the location information at any given time.
We have to point out that the tracking accuracy and location services greatly depend on the state of connectivity of the device and sometimes if the device is in a low signal are it cannot lock onto the satellites or connect to cell towers thus not be able to send its location data.
What can you do to additionally secure and prevent loss of your device?
Users can increase the chances of finding their misplaced devices by following some simple tips that will help keep their iDevices safe at all times. When at work or outdoors make sure not to live your device disconnected from a data connection or Wi-Fi networks you use. Also, don’t leave your device on chairs, benches or anyplace out of your sight as it can lead to you forgetting it and lost permanently.
At home make sure to leave your devices on desks, nightstands or any place where you glance often and keep other items of importance. Leaving your device in bed can lead not only to loss but also permanent damage. Devices left underneath pillows and in sofas often cannot be heard so dialling and trying to locate them by sound will be useless. Tracking will not be of much help as it will show your house location and precise room based position.
In the case of theft notify authorities and supply them with the current or last know position of your stolen device by using an iCloud map and Find my iPhone functionality. In many cases, iPhones with that have always enabled data connection can be found and recovered very fast so make sure to react as quick as possible.
Do not worry if the location isn’t shown and make sure to perform Lock activation and Remote Wipe to prevent your sensitive data being misused. If the location isn’t shown on the map – check back often to see when the device comes online and displays its current location.