How to Track Lost or Stolen Apple iPhone
Smartphones have come a long way thanks to Apple. Today, phones like iPhone are not only about hardware but also software. What really makes iPhone a powerful device is its marketplace called the iTunes Store (or the App Store) which offers millions of apps at your disposal. Out of these massive number of apps, there are a handful ones that offers a way to track the location of your iPhone.
iPhone Tracking: What You Should know
Before we talk about the App Store apps, you should know that tracking an iPhone requires a bit of effort. It’s not as simple as making a phone call to the Apple Customer Care and requesting them to recover your lost device. You cannot even ask for a free iPhone replacement if you have lost the device or someone stole it. It’s true that Apple’s service is rock solid, but giving away free phones every time is not something the company entertains.
In 2007 the iPhone was launched as a premium smartphone, which means only the elite people could afford it. Thanks to the “contract” with the network carrier, years later more than 30% of the smartphone owners have an iPhone. In fact, the iOS installed on iPhone is the most preferred mobile operating system in the world. Because of the expensive price tag and the beautiful design, many iPhones were stolen.
The trend of “stealing” iPhones still continues. This is why in the year 2010 Apple was forced to launch a new application that can track the device remotely.
iPhone Tracking: Use Built-in Tracker
Find My iPhone is a free built-in tracker developed by Apple. The app, which was previously available only on the iTunes Store, helped iPhone owners to track the location of their device on the Google Map, given the device was switched ON and connected to Internet/3G.
Today, Find My iPhone app comes with iCloud support and lets you remotely lock the iPhone, erase the data stored on the device, and also find the directions of the lost phone within seconds.
You simply have to activate this app through your iPhone’s iCloud account to immediately start the tracking process. You can learn more about this app and its features by visiting this page: Find My iPhone – iPhone Tracking Guide.
iPhone Tracking: Use Traditional Techniques
You should know that an iPhone with dozens of GPS tracking apps installed is different from a brand new iPhone that has no apps. In the latter case, finding the iPhone will be a tedious process. You simply cannot track a phone by logging into some website or entering your iPhone’s IMEI number without any apps. In such cases, where iPhones have no apps, you have to resort to traditional methods.
If you are using an unlocked iPhone (contract-free iPhone) the first thing is to do is to file a complaint to your nearest police station. This will keep you away from future mishaps — say, if someone misuses your iPhone and you are held responsible. That is a trap you shouldn’t get into.
Registering a complaint for your lost or stolen iPhone opens up a ray of hope that it will be found someday soon. A complaint can also be used to let your network carrier know that you have lost the phone.
Carriers like AT&T, Sprint, Verizon in US and Vodafone, T-mobile, O2, Three and so on in the UK offers their own solution to block the lost iPhone. You have to contact the carrier to obtain more information.
iPhone Tracking: Third-Party Apps
Tracking your iPhone – be it iPhone 3GS/4/4S or the new iPhone 5 — is an effortless process if you have the right kind of apps installed and you have turned ON the Internet/3G access. Even if your iPhone is lost or someone stole it, you can log into a website and track the device. You can also send messages, alert the “thief” or completely lock the device.
These “location-tracking” apps are available in abundance, and we have covered most of them in this section: “iPhone Tracking Apps & Softwares.”
Despite the GPS chip and new technology, tracking an iPhone requires effort from your side. With Find My iPhone and iCloud integration, it is definitely easier for iOS users to find their iPhone’s location. If you have third-party apps, it’s much more easier to monitor the device in real-time.