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How to track and locate your smartphone

It’s easy to sympathise with those who’ve lost their smartphones. A mobile phone one of the most precious items you carry around with you on a daily basis, second only to your wallet or purse, so should it go missing, you’ll want to have the best chance of finding it again – and fast.

First and foremost speed is key when finding a lost device. If it’s in a public place, there’s risk of theft on top of the initial loss, so the sooner you locate your smartphone, the better. We’ve taken a look at the most accessible apps to help find your smartphone again.

Consider that these apps are for preventative use and require setup before you lose your device, although Android lets you remotely install apps which help you find your device, after you’ve already lost it. 

It’s worth noting that the majority of phone location apps require that you have location services activated and for greater accuracy, so make sure you keep your GPS on.

Android

With regards to applications from Google Play, there’s a vast library of apps which offer varying levels of functionality.

If you’re after a pure and simple smartphone location tool however, we recommend Wheres My Droid. It has a myriad of other features, but at its core is the Commander tool. This allows the users to ‘command’ their lost smartphone to broadcast its location back to a computer over the internet. 

This app, as with many others is available from Google Play for free.

iOS

Although it may not be immediately apparent, iCloud (which features within iOS) is called ‘Find My iPhone’. This service is accessible from any iPhone or iPad and all that’s necessary to make use of it is an Apple ID and active location services. Once you’ve made sure its configured on your device hop online.

From iCloud.com you can then log in using the same Apple ID you input on your device, choose the ‘Find my iPhone’ application and theen locate your lost iPhone on an interactive map. What’s more you can see the remaining battery life of your device, lock the device, force it to play a tone and even wipe it remotely.

Windows Phone

Although Apple’s solution is simple, Microsoft has ensured that Windows Phone devices are even easier to locate when lost. Provided you’ve signed up for the ‘Find My Phone’ service in the Settings on your device and set Location settings to ‘on’, it’s then simply a case of heading to windowsphone.com.

Windows Phone Find my phone

Once there, make sure you’re signed in and head to the ‘My Phone’ dropdown menu. The menu will give you the option to ‘Find My Phone,’ sending you to a map view which displays the location of your phone, along with the options to make it ring, lock, display a message or be erased.

BlackBerry

The BlackBerry Protect service requires that you download an app of the same name from BlackBerry App World and then log in with your BBID, not unlike iOS users with the Find My iPhone service.

BlackBerry Protect

Once you’ve lost your device, head to protect.blackberry.com and again login with your BBID. After this it’s simply a matter of selecting the ‘My Device’ tab at the top and hit ‘View Location’, the service will poll your BlackBerry for a location and display in a map on the browser.

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