How to find your phone or tablet
Hit the guide below for more! It's embarrassingly easy to lose your phone by putting it down somewhere in your house and forgetting where you placed it. This can be frustrating if it's time to leave for work or some other appointment and you're frantically scrambling around your home looking for it. If you own a Google Home speaker , you can use Google Assistant to help find your phone.
Your Android phone must be logged into the same Google account as your Google Home speaker, you must have linked your Google account and voice to your Google Home via the Home app, and your phone must be turned on and connected to the internet either via mobile data or Wi-Fi. You will also need to have Find My Device turned on, which you should absolutely activate for any Android phone you're using.
As long as your phone is still on and connected to the Internet, all you need to do is say "okay Google, find my phone," and Google will confirm which device you want to find and then turn the ringer on — even if you have your phone set to silent.
Locate your phone in your house using Google Home
With Google Home's multi-user support, everyone in your home can use Google Home to find their phones if they're lost as long as they've linked their Google Accounts to Google Home using Voice Match. While Google's built-in option is definitely your best bet, there are some third-party options you might want to consider. We've broken down the best third-party apps for finding your phone below. The Family Locator app by Life is essentially a GPS tracker for phones but is especially useful for families with multiple phones in use.
Your family members become a "Circle", the app's name for a closed group of people who consent to have their phones tracked in real time.
Your family members will appear on live maps within the app as little icons so that you can see where everyone is at any given moment. The app also allows you to chat with people in your Circle or broadcast a meeting time and location. And, of course, if a phone from within your Circle is ever lost or stolen, the app will track it on the map.
Download: Family Locator Free with in-app purchases. The Prey Anti Theft app is impressive in that three different devices can be protected through one download. You'll have the ability to sound an alarm from your missing phone, take screenshots if it's in use, and lock down the device the moment you realize it's missing. Once you've downloaded the app, it will walk you through a series of tutorials to show you how to use your Prey Account to track your phone. The app itself is free and doesn't require additional purchases in order to access the high-end features.
Download: Prey Anti Theft Free. Lost Android will allow you to have remote access to your missing phone via their website. Here, you'll be able to erase sensitive information if you fear that your phone may never be returned, or send messages to your phone in the hopes of someone finding and returning it. Additionally, you can choose to remotely forward any calls you may be missing to another number and record a running list of any calls or messages made or photos taken with your phone.
Download: Lost Android Free with in-app purchases.
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The basic features of the Where's My Droid app allow you to ring your phone if you misplace it, locate it via GPS on Google Maps, and use a passcode to prevent unauthorized changes to apps on your Android phone. Stealth Mode also prevents anyone who finds your phone from seeing your incoming text messages; instead, they'll see a customizable attention word that alerts them of the phone's lost or stolen status.
How to track a phone using Android or iOS
The Pro version of the app, which you pay to use, lets you remotely wipe data from your phone, use a landline to access your phone, and remotely lock the device. Because Google has removed some of the core SMS features that the developers used, we'll be linking directly to the Where's My Droid website where you can download a legacy version of the app that still works as advertised. Download: Where's My Droid Free with in-app purchases. Google's phone location tools are your best bet — as long as you've gone through the process of setting things up ahead of time.
Really, this should be something you set up on any device you care about or that will have sensitive data stored on it, especially with how easy Google has made it to locate your device should you lose it. Of course, one of the benefits of Android is having the freedom to customize your experience as you see fit. If for whatever reason Google's offering just doesn't cut it for you, you should consider the third-party options we've highlighted above, as they include some clever features that might give you some added peace of mind if your device goes missing.
As the phone changes location, the antenna towers monitor the signal, and the phone is "roamed" to an adjacent tower as appropriate. By comparing the relative signal strength from multiple antenna towers, a general location of a phone can be roughly determined. Other means make use of the antenna pattern, which supports angular determination and phase discrimination. Newer phones may also allow the tracking of the phone even when turned on and not active in a telephone call. This results from the roaming procedures that perform hand-over of the phone from one base station to another.
A phone's location can be shared with friends and family, posted to a public web site, recorded locally, or shared with other users of a smartphone app. The inclusion of GPS receivers on smartphones has made geographical apps nearly ubiquitous on these devices. Specific applications include:. In January , the location of her iPhone as determined by her sister helped Boston police find kidnapping victim Olivia Ambrose. Locating or positioning touches upon delicate privacy issues, since it enables someone to check where a person is without the person's consent. In Malte Spitz held a TED talk  on the issue of mobile phone privacy in which he showcased his own stored data that he received from Deutsche Telekom after suing the company.
He described the data, which consists of 35, lines of data collected during the span of Germany 's data retention at the time, saying, "This is six months of my life [ Spitz concluded that technology consumers are the key to challenging privacy norms in today's society who "have to fight for self determination in the digital age. Chinese government has proposed using this technology to track commuting patterns of Beijing city residents. In Europe most countries have a constitutional guarantee on the secrecy of correspondence , and location data obtained from mobile phone networks is usually given the same protection as the communication itself.
In the United States , there is a limited constitutional guarantee on the privacy of telecommunications through the Fourth Amendment. United States that the government violates the Fourth Amendment by accessing historical records containing the physical locations of cellphones without a search warrant. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Jones United States v. Karo Vehicle tracking system. BBC News. Retrieved Proceedings Cat. PC World. Asilomar Conference on Signal Processing Supreme Court of the United States. You'll be able to see all the following:. Last-seen location: The target's last seen location will be pinned on an interactive map and also listed below. Past locations: You'll see a summary of last-visited locations in reverse chronological order. Coordinates: Every tracked location will be accompanied by its exact geographical coordinates.
Since Spyic was designed to be a parental monitoring app, it can be hidden, if necessary. You can even set up a virtual geofence to know when the cell phone leaves or enters an area.
How to Track a Phone Using Android or iOS | Digital Trends
Apart from location tracking, it offers other useful features like messages, social media, pictures, video, and call tracking. What if you don't have physical access to the cell phone in question? What if you're called from an anonymous number? Can you still track the phone's location? At times like these, you can use a reverse phone lookup service like WhitePages. What is a reverse phone lookup service? It essentially takes an input phone number and matches it publically-available with identity and address records.
If available, information about the phone number's owner is retrieved for you. A service like WhitePages should be able to retrieve at least some relevant information about the phone's owner.
All you need to do is input the cell phone number in the provided blank form field. Note that the location information shared is limited. You don't get an exact address or geographical coordinates. You'll only know the general area the phone originated from. This is not a real-time location tracking solution.
Finally, you can safeguard your device against being stolen or lost by using an app like GPS Phone Tracker.