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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

5 Apps and Devices to Find Your Lost Smartphones, Tablets, and Laptops

Did you know smart devices are stolen every 53 seconds and only three percent make it back to their owners. Smart devices aren't cheap and no one wants to be in a position where they lose a piece of technology.That awful feeling of knowing you will have to replace not only your lost device, but also your data can make you feel sick and not want to own a smart device again. Thankfully, most electronic manufacturers want to keep your devices safe. To help you relocate your lost gadgets, here are a list of apps and trackers can instantly help you find your gear.

1. For Apple Devices: Find My iPhone/iPad/Mac Apple offers it's users Find My iPhone/iPad/Mac which allows you to see the current location of your Apple device on a map. To enable this feature, open Settings and tap your Apple ID at the top. Then pick your device and select Find My iPhone (or Find My iPad) to switch on the feature. On a computer, open System Preferences and click iCloud. Then tick the Find My Mac box. Within this app, you can also select a device and prompt it to make a sound, lock itself, or erase all its data.

2. For Android: Find My Device Like Apple, Google has included device-locating tool, called Find My Device, on Android. To enable it, open Settings and tap Security & location. Turn the feature on to start tracking your phone or tablet. Then install the Find My Device app on a backup phone or tablet. To see where your gadget is, you have a few options. Open the app on your backup device, visit the Find My Device web portal, or just sign into your Google account and then type "where's my device?" into the search engine. As with the Apple service, you can make the lost machine play a sound (even when it's in silent mode), lock the device while its screen displays a message, or completely erase your information. Check out a map to view its last known location, battery level, and even the name of the Wi-Fi network it's currently connected to. Based on this information, you can decide whether it's gone forever or still can be retrieved.

3. Prey Prey works with Apple, Android, Samsung, and Windows devices. It offers the same features built into Apple and Android devices such as remotely locking your device, wiping its data, and ringing an alarm to locate it. It also has the ability to snap a picture with the device's camera or view its screen activity, potentially allowing you to deduce a thief's identity. Another bonus feature you get with the phone version of Prey (for Android and iOS) is a control zone. This sends you an alert whenever your phone or tablet enters or leaves a particular area, such as your home or your office.

4. Tile Tile works best with items that you've lost in your own home because it only has a range of 200 feet. Simply attach a Tile to anything you want to keep tabs on. When you misplace something, simply open the Tile app and see where each tag's last reported location was. You can also make Tile Tracker emit a sound, either through the app or by pressing another Tracker that's been paired with the lost one, and commands for the Amazon Echo and Google Home are supported too, so you can find your gear through your smart speaker.

5. TrackR TrackR do more or less the same job as Tile. TrackR's range is shorter than a Tile's (only 100 feet to Tile's 200), if you've got an Amazon Echo in the home then you can find your mobile using TrackR and an Alexa command.

Like a Tile, a TrackR attaches to just about any gadget and reports its location over Bluetooth to the TrackR app (for Android and iOS). Through the app, you can also force a TrackR or a connected phone to audibly ring. While the range is limited, if the TrackR attached to your tablet or laptop gets too far away, then it will automatically log the last known location in the app, so you know whether to start looking at home or in the office.

If you have any questions about your technology and your devices, please feel free to contact us. Our friendly tech experts at Integral are always standing by to answer your questions and help make your technology useful and fun.

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Technology Expert Burton Kelso

I'm the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. My job is to find the most interesting and useful topics to write about for our customers and readers. Let me know if there is any topic that you want to hear about.

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