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How to track an Android phone

How to track an Android phone
© Peter Ksinan | Dreamstime.com

Have you been paying attention to prices on new smartphones?

If you're someone who likes to have the latest and greatest gadgets, you know that it can cost nearly $1,000 for your next Android phone. Now do the math on what that would cost if you're buying new devices for a family of four. Yikes, that's expensive!

The cost of replacing your gadget is just one reason you don't want to lose it. But there's an even more important reason you don't want it falling into the wrong hands.

If you guessed security, you're right. Think of all the sensitive data that can be found on your smartphone. Emails, passwords, and banking information to name a few things. It's critical that if your Android gadget is lost or stolen you have ways to find it ASAP.

That's why you need to know how to track your Android phone.

The good news is there are a few apps out there that can help. Let's take a look at them now.

Note: Komando.com does not condone the use of these phone trackers for anything other than locating a lost or stolen Android gadget. While these apps are great at finding a missing phone, they shouldn't be used to stalk someone. Please use good judgment when using the services of the following programs.

Easily find your lost Android gadget

With the price of new gadgets, losing yours could end up costing you big time.

Replacement costs are just the tip of the iceberg. Think of all the critical information stored on your phone and if it fell into the wrong hands.

That's why you need a reliable way to track down your gadget if it goes missing. This app will help you do just that.

I'm talking about the Find My Phone app.

This is an essential tracking tool for anyone who knows the stress and worry that comes with a lost or stolen gadget. It's available for free for Android users.

Using Find My Phone's GPS tracker makes finding your lost device easier than ever. Here are some key features of the app:

  • Find a lost, stolen or missing device whether it belongs to you, your spouse or your child.
  • Keep tabs on a lost or missing gadget with real-time location updates. When the missing device is moved, its position is updated instantly on the app's map and its website.
  • You're also able to track and locate Android tablets.

The app's navigational assistance can guide you too, making retrieval quick and easy. Mobile providers know how far a gadget is located from cell towers. The app secures this information and displays your device's whereabouts on the app's map.

How to use the app

For the tracking feature to work, the app must be installed on the device that you are searching for. Once the app is installed, log into the app's website.

You will see a pin on the map showing the location of your phone. The map also features directions to the gadget's exact location. Another key feature is the real-time updates on both the app and the website. You will see the map instantly updated whenever the gadget is on the move.

Click here to download the Find My Phone app.

Another helpful tracking app

Here's another way to find your missing Android gadget. I'm talking about Google's Find My Device app.

Find My Device is the new and improved Android Device Manager. It helps you easily locate a lost Android gadget, and keeps your information safe and sound while you look.

The app is completely free and helps you locate your Android phone, tablet and even your Android Wear device. Here are a few features of the app.

  • Locate gadget - Your missing device will ring for 5 minutes, even if set to silent.
  • Securing device - The lost gadget will lock and display a message or phone number.
  • Erase - If you are not able to find your device, you can erase all content stored on it. This keeps sensitive data out of the hands of thieves. (Note: Using this function means the Find My Device app will no longer work in helping you locate the lost gadget.)

How to use Find My Device

If you lose an Android gadget, you can find, lock, or erase it. If you've added a Google Account to your Android device, Find My Device is automatically turned on. To use Find My Device, your lost device must:

  • Be turned on
  • Be signed in to a Google Account
  • Be connected to mobile data or Wi-Fi
  • Be visible on Google Play
  • Have Location turned on
  • Have Find My Device turned on
  • Lost Android Wear watches must also be running Android Wear 2.0 and up

Click here to download the Find My Device app.

Resourceful app helps find your missing Android

This next app is very resourceful. I'm talking about Lost Android.

Lost Android has a number of impressive features that will help you find your missing gadget. For one, you are able to control your lost phone remotely from either its website or SMS.

Here are some of the app's features:

  • Locate by GPS network
  • Read sent and received SMS messages from your phone and send them to your email
  • Wipe your phone
  • Lock phone
  • Erase SD card
  • Start alarm with flashing screen
  • Send SMS (text) messages from webpage
  • Forward calls

How to use the app

  1. Download the app.
  2. Register your phone - Simply start the program. That's it.
  3. Re-login on website - Login to the app's site by using your Google account. You should get a 'Congratulations' pop up message indicating that your phone is hooked up to the site. You can now click on the 'Controls' menu and start to remotely control your phone.

Click here to download the free Lost Android app.

Speaking of helpful apps, here are 7 of the best podcast apps for Android and iPhone

You can hear Kim Komando talk tech anytime you want. Kim hosts not just one podcast, but four. These podcasts are fun, fast and informative. Click here to find out how to listen to Kim's podcasts now.

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