In today’s smartphone-centric world one of the biggest curses is when your iPhone is lost or stolen. Apart from the hefty price tag that the iPhones come with, there is a bulk of important data that is at the risk of getting into wrong hands or just lost forever. Therefore, it is wise to keep certain apps handy that can help you in an unfortunate event of lost iPhone.
So for today’s post, here are 5 of the best apps to track and recover your iPhone in case it gets lost or stolen. I’ll start this list with iOS native apps and go further with third-party apps by other developers. Let’s dig right into it.
Find My iPhone, an app from Apple helps in finding lost, stolen, or misplaced iPhones and iPads. It shows the location of the missing device on a visual map based on the last known location of your device. I liked its “Lost Mode” that locks down the device and displays a custom message too.
What I liked is, like Google’s Find Device for Android, it packs in a lot more options than just finding your device. You can play a sound, lock down your device, display a custom message, view recent location history, get driving directions to the device, and remotely wipe the complete device as well.
Please follow these steps to activate Find My Phone on your device:
- Launch Settings app and click on your Apple ID at the top.
- Tap iCloud and look for Find My Phone and tap its switch to enable it.
You can follow the below steps to find your lost device using Find My iPhone:
- Open iCloud in a browser and sign in to your account.
- Click on “Find iPhone” and provide your Apple ID details if required.
- Click on “All Devices” and click the name of the device you wish to track.
- It will show your device on the map that you can also zoom in and out.
- You will also see the options “Play Sound”, “Lost Mode”, and “Erase iPhone” – you can click on each to do its specified action.
Find My Friends is another app from Apple that lets you find your friends and family members. It allows you to locate your lost or stolen device as well – using a simple trick. The trick is to ask one of your friends or family members to track your iPhone to find its location using their device.
Its features include sharing your location, following your friend’s location and hiding your location with just a single switch. You can also set up location-based alerts to notify you about your contacts’ locations and vice versa.
You need to do the following to set up Find My Friends on a device:
- Open the app on your iOS device and click “Add Friends”.
- Select one or more contact(s) from the list and tap Send.
- In the time option, select “Share Indefinitely” to never stop sharing.
- Ask your contacts to accept your location sharing request.
- Toggle on “Share My Location” to activate sharing your location.
When you need to find your device, you can follow the below steps:
- Open “Find My Friends” in one of your contacts’ iPhone or iPad.
- You can check your device’s location on the given map.
Prey Anti-Theft is a third-party app built to assist you in finding your lost or stolen device. It makes it extremely easy to find a missing device whether it is your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook. You can connect and see all your devices in its single interface for a comfortable experience.
Prey Anti-Theft includes superior features than both Apple’s Find My iPhone and Google’s Find Device for Android.
For example, it can take a picture of the person holding your device, alert when the device enters or leaves an area, disguise itself to encourage the thief to interact and get caught, and do a lot more.
Please follow the below steps to secure your device using Prey Anti-Theft:
- Install the app on your device and open it.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to set it up on your device.
To find your device using Prey Anti-Theft, follow the given steps:
- Open Preyproject in a browser and log in to your account using your account credentials.
- Among the list of devices, click the device that you want to locate.
- Toggle on the option named Missing for receiving reports in your inbox.
- You will also see other options to gather information or perform actions on your device. For example, you can enable them to collect geo and network info, trigger an alarm or alert, lock your device, or secure-erase it entirely.
FoneHome is another third-party app that makes it very easy to retrieve a stolen iPhone or iPad using its many features. Also, you can track unlimited devices using its one account.
Where I found it better than Find My iPhone is in the feature of storing 100 last locations, which means you get a comprehensive location history of your device.
I am a fan of its “lost mode”, which provides high-accuracy location updates of your device once every minute. Also, it can snap a photo of the thief and play a loud siren as well.
To set up FoneHome on your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:
- Set up an account on the device you want to secure first.
- Allow FoneHome to access your front-facing camera on your phone, use your location in the background and send you notifications.
In case your device is misplaced, you can follow the below-mentioned steps:
- Go to My Fone Home and log in to your account.
- Select the device you want to track, and you will see its location on the map.
- Along with the map, you will see various options near the right-top corner, which you can use to perform additional actions like activating the lost mode, sending a push message, sound the siren, view the device’s location history, etc.
Device Locator helps to know your family or friends’ location and find your lost device as well. Also, like FoneHome, it allows tracking an unlimited number of devices from a single account.
It can make your device to sound an alarm, send a message to your device, show its location on a map, request a location update, and collect location information on every switch of network towers. Though its feature set is enough yet I found it misses few excellent features offered by FoneHome and Prey Anti-Theft.
To setup and use Device Locator, you must do the following steps:
- Install this app on your phone and all the phones you want to track.
- Sign in with your account (create if you do not have one) on those devices.
- Add locations in the Places tab that you or your family members visit such as home, work, school etc. so that the app can quickly mark that they are there.
Whenever you need to find a lost or stolen iPhone or iPad, you can do the following steps:
- Using a different iOS device, open the app and log in to your account.
- You can find your device’s location by checking it out in the Devices tab or view its complete history under the tab named “location History” in the app.