Q. I got my first iPhone! I’m probably the last person to give up their flip phone but at least I finally have a smartphone.
Can you recommend your favorite app? I’ve asked my friends but they’re telling me to get gaming apps and stuff but I’m not really interested in that. Which app do you think is the best one to get?
A. Congratulations on getting your first iPhone! You are certainly not the last to give up on flip phones. Many people only need a flip phone and haven’t (yet) moved to a smartphone.
Great question. I get this question a lot and have a very definite answer: the first app you should get for your iPhone is Find My iPhone.
Your new iPhone will quickly become an essential tool for you and losing it would be somewhere between a hassle and a nightmare. Whether you’ve misplaced it under a sofa cushion, you leave it on a bus or a thief snatches it, you want the best chance of getting your iPhone back. Find My iPhone gives you the best chance, and the app is free!
This app will help you locate your iPhone if it becomes lost or stolen, showing you on a map where your phone is located. You can put your phone in Lost mode, allowing you to lock the phone remotely and wipe all the data from it to protect your information. You can also display a message on the phone to help the finder reunite you with your phone.
The app lets you play a sound on the phone even if it’s in silent mode. Yes, you could try calling your phone, but the ringtone won’t play if the phone is in silent mode.
How to Use Find My iPhone
First you need to get the app from the iTunes App Store: Find My iPhone app.
Second, you need to sign into the app using your iCloud account. This may be different from your iTunes account, your iTunes account is used for buying songs, apps, videos, iBooks, etc. from the iTunes App Store. Your iCloud account is to keep track of your stuff. If you share an iTunes account with others in your household, you may want to set up an iCloud account that is different from your iTunes account. See Apple’s website: Set up your Apple ID for iCloud and iTunes.
Third, go into your Settings app on your phone => iCloud => Find My iPhone and turn it On.
The location of your iPhone can now be found using the Find My iPhone app and/or a computer.
How to Find Your Phone
If your phone is missing you can find it by logging into your iCloud account using the Find My iPhone app on another iDevice or at the iCloud website, icloud.com from any computer.
You’ll be shown a list of your iDevices that are registered to your iCloud account. Tap on your iPhone to see its location on a map. A battery meter appears in the upper right corner of the map to show you how much charge your phone has left.
You can tap on the car icon to get driving directions to the location of your phone.
Tap on Actions at the bottom of the screen and a menu will appear with these choices:
- Play Sound
- Lost Mode
- Erase iPhone
Play Sound commands the phone to make a pinging sound even if the phone is muted.
Lost Mode lets you lock your phone so that your passcode (or Touch ID fingerprint) must be used to unlock the phone. You can also enter a phone number for the finder to call in the hope that your iPhone is found by a Good Samaritan.
Erase iPhone lets you wipe all your data, apps, etc. from your phone.
You’ll find many interesting stories of how Find My iPhone has help people reunite with their phones. See, AppStorm Unbelievable “Find My iPhone” Stories: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Find My Mac
You can also enable Find My Mac to locate your Mac computer. Click on the Apple logo in the top menu bar => System Preferences => Find My Mac and check the box.
Have you ever used Find My iPhone to locate your lost phone? Do you have any stories of getting your iPhone back? Did you know you can find your iPhone even if the battery has died? Let us know in the Comments section below!
*Detective image (edited) courtesy of olarte.ollie via Flickr and Creative Commons