Blog (Tag: device)

Smartphone emergency contact and find my device

My wife found a smartphone on the street today and that made me check my 'find my device' and emergency contacts (ICE) settings.
The 'find my device' setting is mostly known as Find My iPhone, Android device manager and Find my device.

Emergency contacts (ICE)
More recent smartphones will allow you to set emergency information and/or (a) emergency contact(s).
The easiest way to check this is to open the unlock screen but without unlocking it. Try and see of you manage to do that without unlocking it, realising you actually needed it still locked and try again (that is what I did anyway :)).

For each phone it will be different, but it all comes down to finding the emergency contact/dialer/information screen.
In my case (OnePlus 3) this screen was found by sliding the notifications screen up, pressing emergency on the pin code screen and finally pressing the emergencey info button.
For the phone my wife found (Samsung) this screen was found by opening the dialer on the unlock pattern screen and pressing the contacts icon there.
Unfortunately the Samsung phone had no emergence contact and only a text describing you can choose contacts that appear there (what stimulated me to checking and configuring my phone aswell as writing this guide.

Find my device
Another very helpful feature of your smartphone (Android and iOS that is, unsure about other platforms) is the device retrieval option.
Apple has "Find my iPhone" and Google has "Find my device" (formerly "Android Device Manager").
How to enable this is pretty straightforward and can be easily found on the internet if you cannot find where to enable it.

When you lost your phone (or have simply misplaced it) you can login to the find my device website using your Apple ID or your Google account.
For Apple devices go to https://www.icloud.com/find (the name implies it only works for iPhone but it also works for iPads and MacBooks)
For Android devices go to https://www.google.com/android/find

If you have a Google account signed in to multiple devices you can also use the step by step guide found here.

Also note that manufacturers sometimes have their own accounts and device retrieval functionality like Samsung's "Find my mobile" found here.
Check with the manufacturer of your phone if they also offer this service.

As an alternative there are also third party tools available, paid as well as free.
What I use on my Windows laptop and also my OnePlus 3 is prey.


By Stefan Nicodem

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