Some apps crush cartoon candies, deliver gifts to a friend’s doorstep or even deposit your check. But the most valuable apps are the ones that come to the rescue when your phone is missing.
Here are some phone locator apps that can help you easily recover your prized device fast.
It was here five minutes ago. It’s probably at the coffee shop (or the bank, maybe?). Actually, the phone bounced out of your briefcase and into the thick, spiky shrubbery just outside the office door. But you don’t know that yet; you’re just in a panic right now.
How it works: Put the coffee down, find a laptop or tablet and log on to the app’s Commander—its online command center for phones. Select one of five options: Ring the phone, take a photo, lock the phone, wipe data or select location for a precise GPS-pinned map.
Killer feature: Rings even if the phone is set to silent.
Pro tip: If a laptop isn’t available, ask a friend to send a special text message to your phone to activate one of the aforementioned options.
Best for: People who manage a family or small fleet of phones. The free version tracks the whereabouts of up to three devices and the pro can manage ten.
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This app is “The Clapper” of lost phones. Made for smart watches and connected devices, finding a lost phone is always within (pun alert) arm’s reach.
How it works: Open the app on your smart watch, tap, and the phone starts ringing.
Killer feature: Forget your phone at home a lot? As soon as you go far enough for the smart watch to lose its Bluetooth® connection, a reminder message pops up while there’s still time to turn around and get it.
Pro tip: Download Wear Mini Launcher for fast access to all wearable apps and nix the swiping and scrolling.
Best for: People with smart watches who are lost even when the phone’s close by.
New phone? Even better, new insured phone? Good for you. Able to replace damaged phones in a single bound, Verizon’s Total Mobile Protection also includes the premium version of this app that helps track lost or stolen phones.
How it works: When you first get your phone outfitted with Total Mobile Protection, activate the app. If you lose your phone, you can log on to myverizon.com from any computer or tablet to get the phone’s location, wipe its memory remotely or lock its screen.
Killer feature: Fast access to Verizon’s Customer Service chat with the Premium version of the app.
Pro tip: With insurance, the Premium version of the app is free. Basic is free for all phones.
Best for: People who want 360-degree protection in a phone locator app—such as insurance, anti-spam and virus safeguards.