We use our phones constantly throughout our day and if it gets lost, it is devastating.
Phones get lost and misplaced every day. Unfortunately, our phones have an enormous amount of our personal information on them (our contacts, credit card information, medical records, etc.) and they are needed to quickly communicate with the world through calls, texts, web searches, and social media. So, when our phone is lost, it is a painful experience, to say the least.
According to The ChannelPro Network there are 70 million smartphones lost each year with only 7% of those recovered. In fact, 4.3% of company-issued smartphones are lost or stolen every year.
With this information, one has to ask, “Do I need a phone finder or do I need a phone reminder?”
1. Use a Phone Reminder Device
If you have a Phone Reminder Device (Prox PRD®), you may not need a phone finder.
Phone reminders are Bluetooth®-connected devices that alert you when you are separated from your phone. Once the Bluetooth® connection is severed due to lack of signal strength and the inability to reliably exchange encryption keys, the RF signal is lost and the device alerts.
Phone reminder devices have been around for over a decade, but they have typically suffered from false alerts, making them annoying and invasive. Many companies have tried to add the phone reminder option to their current item finder device and many of those have removed the feature later due to their inability to adequately resolve the false alert issue. To prevent negative reviews on their current device, they have abandoned their attempt at a phone reminder feature.
However, the good news is here. Recently there is a new generation of dependable phone reminder devices (PRDs) that work without an app. These PRDs reliably alert you at adjustable distance ranges depending on the user’s environment (e.g., inside vs. outside, low vs. vaulted ceilings, drywall vs. block walls, etc.). Even though the distance might vary slightly among different surrounding environments, the ability to adjust the distance setting lets the user fine-tune their PRD to their personal preference.
A phone reminder device of this nature immediately takes a proactive stance against phone loss. There is nothing quite like an anti-lost phone device. With a PRD, there may no longer be a need for a phone finder.
2. Use the phone's integrated phone finder application
Still need a phone finder, in addition to your phone reminder device?
Need to hedge your bet? Maybe you still feel the need for a phone finder just in case. Well, phone finders use any or all of the following technology to help locate your lost phone: Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi, and GPS.
If you have an iPhone, Apple’s integrated “Find My” application works very well. This would require you to log into your Apple iCloud account via another device. You can then clearly see your phone’s location on the map. This “Find My” application allows for you to mark the phone lost and it also allows you to ring the phone when you are within proximity if you need a further alert. While you are retrieving your phone, another great “Find My” feature is that it allows you to display a message on the phone’s locked screen so that if someone finds it first, they can be alerted as how to contact you. If the iPhone cannot be located (i.e., you see “Offline” under the iPhone’s name) the last location is displayed for up to 24 hours. Select “Notify me when found” if you wish to receive an email when the phone is located. If you still are unable to retrieve your phone for some reason (e.g., you have left the country that you were visiting), the “Find My” feature allows you to erase your personal data from the phone remotely; this restores the iPhone to its factory settings. Apple has done a great job with the “Find My” network and its offering has enabled many people to retrieve their phone without incident
Similarly, Android has also announced a feature that allows you to track down your lost Android phone. To use the Android feature, the phone must be turned on and it must be signed in to a Google account. It may also need to be connected to WiFi or have mobile data turned on. It must be visible on Google Play, have location turned on, and “Find My Device” turned on. To remotely find, lock, or erase personal data on an Android phone you must:
i) Go to android.com/find and sign in to your Google Account. (If you have more than one phone, click the lost phone at the top of the screen.)
ii) The lost phone gets a notification.
iii) On the map, you’ll get info about where the phone is located.
iv) Pick what you want to do; play sound, secure device, or erase device.
3. Use an item tracker/finder that has a phone tracking ability
There are item trackers that have phone finder applications. Some of these trackers use the iPhone’s “Find My” network to display the location of your lost phone. Most other trackers will simply ping the phone if you are within proximity of the phone (i.e., Bluetooth® range) where a signal is sent for the phone to ring and/or the phone’s light to come on. For these trackers to work, their app must remain turned on in the background of your phone. This is in contrast to a Phone Reminder Device (PRD) that does not require an app. If the app is required to remain turned on, there will be an additional drain of the phone’s battery and the phone may from time to time turn off the tracker’s app if the phone notices inactivity or elects to save battery power.
The Prox PRD® Phone Reminder Device
No subscription | No data collected or sold | CR2032: 1-year battery life (typical)
No password | No app | No registration | iPhone, Samsung, Google Pixel Compatible