Gold Coast Explorer since Jan 2010. Always on the lookout for fun, family things to enjoy with my four kids.
Published July 1st 2013
Your phone will be lost without it
Don't wait until you lose it
The iPhone app Find my iPhone by Apple is one of those apps you don't need, until you need it. I recently discovered it after one of our iPhones was misplaced. Here's the scenario – no phone, so you turn the house upside down looking for it, rack your brains as to when you last used it, ring it and move around the house listening for a ring, or a vibrate if it was lost when on silent. You retrace your steps, repeatedly ask family members if they have seen your phone and insist they help you look for it. Then you spend hours on the internet trying to work out how you can trace it's location, only to discover every means of mapping open to you requires you to have set up the relevant app before you lose the phone, not afterwards.
The solution – download the Find my iPhone app for free and set up your phone before you lose it. Seriously, do it now and you can avoid hours looking for your phone. Our recent loss was extremely frustrating, as the phone was not only on silent but the vibrate function was also turned off. However with the app set up, you will be able to see your phone's location.
It will locate your phone (or iPad, iPod touch or Mac) on a map.
Play a sound for two mins at full volume, even when on silent. Remotely lock your device and wipe to remove your personal data. It can even display a message on screen in case anyone else finds it.
You will require iOS5 or later, an iCloud account and an internet connection. Find My iPhone is installed by default with iOS 5 and 6, but must be turned on to be active (Download.com).
To read more about Find My iPhone follow the link.
So what do you need to do to set it up?
1. Get iCloud up and running on your phone. Note: you need an Apple ID to sign up for iCloud. 2. Download the Find my iPhone app for free. You can't do this on your computer after you have lost your phone, you need to set it up on the phone first.
This is what you do when you lose your phone:
1. Visit iCloud on another device which has an internet connection e.g. your Mac
2. Sign in with your Apple ID and password.
3. Click on Find my iPhone
4. Look for the icon on the map, which shows where your phone is located.
Find my Friends - is it stalking?
In my quest for a way to locate my phone (before downloading the app) I read about Find my Friends but again it requires you to set it up before the phone is lost (and have the permission of your friends). This app interestingly introduces you to tracking the location of family and friends. You can even set up alerts as to when one of your friends arrives at or leaves a location. I'd say you are then drifting into a type of stalking but you decide. You could set alerts for when your kids leave school and arrive back home, for when friends arrive at a location you are meeting them at, checking when the person you are meeting at the airport has made it out of the baggage claim area, or follow the progress of a family member's long journey. There's also a police story about a car theft, in which the location of the stolen car was traced, as the owner's iPhone was inside and had had the app activated.
If you haven't set up the Find my iPhone app, do it now and save yourself a whole lot of wasted time and energy. It's free, so what have you got to lose?
P.S. For those with kids, this app is a must. If you are reading this article, having already lost your phone, the best advice I can offer is to check in your youngest child's bed. No prizes for guessing where we finally found my iPhone...