Lost your iPhone? What Now?

When we were in San Francisco for MacWorld the iPhone Alley team kept a close watch on our iPhones. We knew that being in a big city with lots of people would put us at a high risk for theft. We were careful to never leave our phones unattended and kept them on us at all times. However, there were a few times, we left them on a table while eating dinner or lunch. Then we would tease each other and grab the phone.  Then the other would panic for sometime trying to dig through their backpack and pockets trying to find their phone. It was an on going game. Until we ate lunch in the LAX airport and then rushed to our gate and hopped on the plane. Someone realized they didn’t have their phone. We all looked at each other and shrugged. None of us had taken the phone this time. So he rushed off the plane and sprinted back to the table and the phone was gone. Ugh! He had no time to look around further or speak to the staff before he had to be back on the plane to take off. What a hopeless feeling knowing the bridge keeping you connected has been lost, stolen, taken and you have no way to get it back. After a 3 hour flight, we spoke with airline staff who called to try and locate the phone to see if it had been turned in – nothing. Then one member of our team tracked down the number to the restraunt where we had eaten and they had his phone! He was super lucky this time. They agreed to ship it to him FedEx overnight and he received his phone safe and sound.

These events sparked my curiosity as there are many cell phone tracking apps out on the market. I recently updated my phone to the new OS 4.2.1 software and a new icon appeared called Find iPhone. After activating Mobile Me, I am able to see where my iPhone is at any given moment. It will even display a message on the phone and/or play a sound to help you locate it if you have misplaced it. If you think your phone may have been stolen you can also set a pass code remotely as well as do a remote wipe and erase all your data off the phone. This app came free with the update and is also available through iTunes. Sounds, like this is one app everyone should have just in case.

You may also want to consider insurance for theft if you feel that you are at a high risk. There are several companies out there that can cover your iPhone. Look at this comparison chart for more information.