Photo via Rach/Flickr (CC-BY)
Stop turning over couch cushions and retracing your steps to find your Android device. It's had a "Find My Phone" feature this whole time; you just didn't know about it.
To avoid the panic that comes with checking your pockets and realizing your phone isn't there, follow these easy steps.
- Grab your device and make sure the Google app is installed.
- Enable the information-serving Google Now cards, which provide information on things like weather and nearby public transit.
- Enable Web and App activity in your device's settings.
- Turn on Google Now notifications.
- Set your location information to "high accuracy."
This is a fair amount of groundwork to start with, but you'll be thankful you followed these steps, because once you have, you'll be able to summon your lost smartphone or tablet from any Web-browser-equipped device.
If your phone or tablet is missing, open a browser, sign into Google with the same account you use on your device, and type "find my phone" into the Google search box. At the top of the results page will be a map showing your device's location.
If you need to get a little more specific—maybe you didn't leave your phone in a cab but instead somewhere in your bedroom—you can make your phone ring so you can follow the sound until you find it. There's a Ring icon on the map that will trigger this sound.
Google also offers an extra service, Android Device Manager, that tracks your phone and rings it if needed. Device Manager also offers additional features for more serious situations, allowing you to remotely lock the device, reset its password, or completely wipe its data.
H/T CBS News