Owners can find a stolen phone using the iPhone’s Find My Phone feature or the Android’s Device Manager function. Several third-party apps also allow Android users to find their stolen phones, including Avast Anti Theft and Cerberus.
For iPhone users, the Find My Phone feature is the most popular option to find a stolen mobile phone. Users can attempt to locate a stolen phone by logging onto the iCloud service from any Internet-enabled device. On iCloud, users can select the Find My Phone icon to bring up a map indicating the phone’s location. Users can lock a stolen phone with a four-digit PIN, display a customized message on the phone’s screen or remotely wipe all data if the phone cannot be retrieved. One drawback of Find My Phone, however, is that it can only locate an iPhone that is still powered on.
Android users have a variety of options to locate a stolen phone. All Android devices come equipped with a Device Manager function that can locate, lock and wipe a lost phone. The Device Manager must be configured on a phone in order to locate it, so it’s not useful for stolen phones without the app already set up. Other privacy apps such as Avast Anti Theft and Cerberus come equipped with phone location systems that boast extra features, such as the ability to see what calls are made from a stolen phone or when a SIM card is changed.