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How to find your missing phone

Lost your phone don't worry. Few Apps are available to find the missing phones. Here's how to find your phone when it goes missing. While there's no guarantee you'll recover your device, these tips and apps will put you in the best position to get back what you lost. Or, if it comes to it, to make sure no one can get at the information that's on there.
Android Device Manager

Your most direct option for finding a lost Android phone is Google's newly introduced Android Device Manager (ADM) feature. Essentially an Android version of the iOS Find My iPhone service, ADM allows users to locate, track, ping, and, if need be, remotely wipe their devices-all from a web browser.

The ping feature will ring the phone at maximum volume, even if it is set to vibrate or silent. If you figure you've dropped it somewhere outside of your immediate vicinity, log on to the ADM dashboard to see its location, anywhere in the world, to within a 22-meter radius. And if you discover you can't retrieve or recover the phone, ADM allows you to remotely wipe the device's contents (you will have to enable Factory Resets prior to losing the phone though). Plus, it's completely free and likely already installed.

The one shortcoming? ADM does not offer a means of remotely locking your phone. Ring and full-on self-destruct are your only options.

Bit Defender Anti-Theft

If you'd like a middle ground between doing nothing and obliterating everything on your phone from afar, take a look at BitDefender's Anti-Theft app. It allows you to locate and erase your phone, as ADM does, but throws in a remote lock as well. This keeps your phone secure against the prying eyes and wandering fingers until you pick it up.

What's more, Bit Defender can only be uninstalled by authorized users. If someone tries to bypass that by swapping SIM cards, BD will text the new number to a phone of your choosing, force the phone to answer your call, and then remotely wipe the phone via SMS command. Once you get the thief on the line, you should probably yell something to the effect of, "IF I CAN'T HAVE HER, NO ONE WILL" just before sending the self-destruct text. Drama! Excitement! Destruction!

These extra features don't come free; you have to pony up an annual subscription of $4. But given that the full anti-theft service extends to all your devices-laptops, phones, and tablets alike-that four bucks is a good investment.


Another solid freemium option is Lookout Security & Antivirus by Lookout Mobile Security. This total security suite protects your phone against loss or theft as well as provides continuous protection against a variety of nasty bits of online code.

For $3 a month (or $30 annually), you get the antivirus service, backup and restore features to save and reload your Google contacts, photos, and call history, and a swath of sneaky anti-theft options. In addition to the standard map-based location, tracking and forced ringing features, Lookout also offers Signal Flare, which saves the phone's last known location when the battery dies, and the Lock Cam, which emails you a picture of anyone that incorrectly enters the lock screen combo three times.

Plan B

Bit Defender's a great choice, but what if you've lost your phone without installing it beforehand? There's always Plan B.

Plan B is a remotely installed, barebones tracker app. First, open a browser window and log on to Google Play. Install the app onto your phone via Play, wait ten minutes for it to download and install, then text "locate" to your number from another phone. The app will triangulate its position based on Wi-Fi and GPS signals and send you a single email if it's sitting still, or continuously for a duration of 10 minutes if the device is on the move. You just have to keep texting "locate" until you catch up with it (and hope that the battery's still going).

Find My iPhone

The original lost phone tracking service for iOS is still your best option. This free app locates and tracks your lost or stolen Apple devices-not just iPhones but iPads and MacBooks as well-not to mention ringing the unit, displaying a message for whoever finds it, and remotely lock or wipe the device altogether. The app is free on iTunes.


For a little more advanced protection, GadgetTrak offers remotely activated GPS location tracking, push notifications to trick a thief into giving away his position, and the ability to use your lost phone's camera to take a picture of whomever took it from the comfort of your home. It'll cost you $4, but that's peanuts compared to a brand new phone.

These tips and apps will put you in the best position to get back what you lost but there's no guarantee you'll recover your device