If you have previously lost your phone, along with all your personal stuff like your favorite photos then you know how painful that experience can be. If you haven’t, then you may be blissfully unaware of just how hard it can be to get it back and how traumatic that can be.
The most important thing to consider is this: is there any reason not to install a phone tracking app before losing your phone? Please note! If you have already lost your phone we recommended checking out the great guide here for troubleshooting the best ways to receive your already lost phone.
What Google and Apple’s services can do if you lose your phone
Both Android and iOS phones have a built-in tracking app service that can help you locate a lost phone called Android Device Manager and Find My iPhone, respectively.
These two services are integrated into the phones themselves so you will be able to use them even if you haven’t installed anything beforehand. This will be true in most cases, unless you have somehow opted out of those services.
What those services can do for you is quite limited. Provided that your phone has access to an Internet connection, you will be able to locate them on a map, ring them, lock them, display a message, and erase them completely.
Of the two, Find My iPhone is a bit more advanced as it will also let you put the phone in “Lost Mode”, which means that a potential thief will not be able to unlock it or disable location services as they would need your iCloud password to do anything.
However, they cannot do anything else. If you are looking for more advanced features, then you will need to look elsewhere.
This is how phone tracking apps can help you
When you hear “phone tracking”, you might be thinking of apps that simply allow you to locate a phone on a map. Nowadays, however, there are many phone tracking apps which come with many more features than that.
For example, Prey is an anti-theft app which lets you hide the app completely, take camera pictures and screenshots of your phone, and even retrieve your data remotely (in its paid version).
Similarly, an app called Lost Android disguises itself as a “personal notes” app and then allows you to control your phone from a special web interface or by special SMS texts which contain commands and can let you do a bunch of different things like launch other apps or receive location details.
And this is why you should install them right away
One thing that all of these apps have in common is that you have to install them before actually losing your phone.
While you may be able to install apps in Android remotely, phone tracking apps often require you to register them or need special permissions to operate, something that you cannot do remotely.
Because of that, you should always have at least one phone tracking app installed in your phone which you have personally tested to check its accuracy along with its other features.
That way, if you lose your phone, you will not have to panic at all. Instead, you will just turn to the phone tracking service, locate your phone, and do anything else necessary such as retrieving your files and erasing your data if getting your phone back is not possible.