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Monday 6 April 2015

reddit track your lost iPhone android

Tips for Reddit success

If you are convinced to try using Reddit for promotional purposes, and if you are ready to start posting links, then learn the following things that you must take care of before you do anything else.

Use the right title

If you haven’t already noticed, Reddit users often type in really long titles for their links, since there is no opportunity to enter a description. You can do that too, so take it as a plus. For titles, you can remember the acronym CD-R (I know that also means recordable CD—I’m a tech blogger!): Catchy, Descriptive, but Relevant. Here’s an example.
I had an article titled “Wait! Dual-core CPU required for Android Honeycomb?” This post explained that the upcoming version of the Android OS for mobile phones may require a dual-core processor to run. This could be a bad thing, as the phones could potentially become expensive. So instead of posting on Reddit something like: “Android 3.0 Honeycomb may require a dual-core CPU,” I wrote, “I want to see just where this goes for Android…” and easily attracted over five hundred views for that particular article.

Post in the relevant reddit

This point is really important. Before you post a link to Reddit, make sure that you choose the correct reddit for it. If you post it in any random category, don’t expect a traffic spike anytime soon. Make sure that you post to specific reddits. But there’s also another aspect to it.
Remember to check how many people have added the reddit to their frontpage. Just open another tab, and after the regular Reddit address, type in /r/reddit-name. For example, to see the reddit about technology, you type To the right, you will see the number of people who have the reddit on their frontpage. Make you sure you choose a reddit that’s relevant to your link, and has a lot of subscribers.
If you can’t find a reddit that is relevant to your article, or if your relevant reddit has very few subscribers, use a reddit with a broader topic.
If that doesn’t work, try to make the title fit into the reddits “TodayILearned” or “YouShouldKnow.” Both of them have a lot of subscribers (even me). TodayILearned is for links with stuff that is informative and interesting to learn. It requires that your title start with a “TIL” or “Today I Learned.” The latter reddit is for stuff that you should know (self-explanatory!). The titles of the items you post there need to begin with a “YSK” or “You Should Know.”
You can probably fit your article into either one of these if it won’t fit elsewhere. But take care: both these reddits have amazing content, so make sure you’re posting a link to an interesting article.

No shortened URLs please!


Forgive Me Admin, For I Have Spammed

Being active on Reddit for almost a year I have seen many submissions rise successfully to Reddit’s front-page (the top of the top of Reddit), and some that have failed miserably. The ones that made it got tons of traffic, and the ones that failed were not only not getting any exposure, but also were considered being annoying spam.
To be honest, there were some things I shouldn’t have done on Reddit. I have spammed. A lot. Then I was banned for doing it. I have even tried creating new “throwaway” accounts and up-vote my own submissions. Of course, in the end it didn’t matter how much I tried to get my content voted up – the community does its magic. Always.
My biggest mistake was to think of Reddit as “just a source of traffic”. It’s not.

Instant Reddit Traffic – Just Add Value

So, after being banned from Reddit I felt kind of frustrated and disappointed. It seemed to me that the stuff I used to write was not interesting for the people I was actually writing it for. So I gave up.
In the next few weeks I have caught myself on the thought that I was somehow “missing” Reddit and its community. If you are not active on Reddit, you probably don’t know how interesting and helpful Reddit might be.
But then, after re-joining Reddit I have realized one thing your have to keep in mind when submitting your things to Reddit: be helpful and add value. Apply this thought not only when trying to get traffic, but also to the content you write. People like content, which helps or enlightens them. Period.

1. Get To Know Your Audience

Reddit is made out of different category-pages called “subreddits”. There are subreddits for more things than you can imagine: cute things (/r/aww), strange things (/r/wtf) and even strange cute things (/r/awwwtf).
Also, there are also tons of subreddits about technology and online marketing, like /r/technology, /r/webmarketing or /r/ppc.
I am sure that you will find your audience in one of the 221,986 subreddits. You just have to search for a bit.

2. Get The Audience To Know You

After you have successfully found the people you would love to read your content or buy your product – talk to them. Be active. Comment on submissions and give helpful advice to people. You can see excellent examples of good comments in /r/bestof.
Once you have established a good reputation you can slowly start to get your stuff out there. People will recognise you from your previous (helpful) comments and you will more likely be up-voted. But remember: you will only make it if you add value to your community/audience.
Small tip: the smaller the subreddit (fewer readers, niche) the easier it is to get to the subreddit’s own front-page and get exposure.

3. Timing Is Key

You definitely don’t want your link to get lost in the /new section of the subreddit. So choose your timing right.
According to an infographic about “Social Timing” by KissMetrics the best time to submit your link on most social networks is before 5PM EST. This is also the time when most people are actively browsing Reddit.


How to find a lost iPhone, iPad or Macbook without an installed tracking app

Important note: If you haven’t activated “Find My iPhone / iPad / Mac” when you set up your device, this method won’t work. 
Although you can download the official “Find My iPhone” app on the App Store, you don’t actually need it to track your Apple device. This means the app doesn’t have to be installed on your missing iPhone, iPad or Mac. The good thing here is that Find My iPhone is actually a cloud-based service by Apple. The app is only another way of accessing this service to locate your iPhone or other Apple devices. If you own an iPad or a second iPhone, you can also install the app and try to locate your missing device. Otherwise, all you need is a browser and your Apple ID login details.
Also, don’t be too worried that someone could disconnect your device from iCloud, turn off Find My iPhone or erase your device. If you’re on iOS7 or a later version, a feature called Activation Lock will prevent anyone from doing any of the mentioned things without your Apple ID password.
Alright, let’s get back your Apple device. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Login to iCloud and start “Find My iPhone”

Head over to and log in using your Apple ID credentials. Once signed in, you should see your iCloud dashboard with different icons. Click on the “Find My iPhone” icon, which the first one in the second row. Now you should see the Find My iPhone interface, including a map.

2. Choose your lost device and start the tracking process

Click on the “All Devices” drop-down menu on the top bar and select your missing device. The tracking of your device will now start. Depending on several factors, this can take a while. If Find My iPhone is successful and found your device, you should be able to see its location on the map.Now you have the option to trigger an acoustic signal on your device (in case you cannot find it in your house), activate “Lost Mode” and erase all data. Use the erase option as a last resort, since Find My iPhone won’t work anymore on your device afterwards.
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Activating Lost Mode will lock your device with a password and display a message of your choice together with a phone number, so that a nice soul hopefully contacts you to give your iPhone, iPad or Mac back into your hands. The Lost Mode has the nifty ability to enable location services on your iPhone or iPad, in case it’s deactivated. So no need to freak out if you realised that you turned it off. It will stay enabled as long as your device is in Lost Mode.
This is basically all you have to do to track your lost Apple device. Please keep in mind that your lost device needs to be turned on and somehow connected to the internet. If mobile data is turned off and it’s not connected to WiFi, you won’t be able to track it using Find My iPhone. Your only hope is to wait and hope that the thief or someone, who found it, connects to the web. Thankfully, you don’t need to stay inside of iCloud and hit refresh all the time. If your device is offline, you can let Apple notify you once it’s back online.
I really hope this article helps you find your lost iPhone, iPad or Mac. If you do, it would be great

Ultimate Guide to Android Rooting, Custom ROMs & Apps

Android Rooting Terms You Should Know

Before we get started, I would like to explain a few terms because the terminology can get complicated and confusing. This will help you to understand other device specific guides. I’ll try to keep it short and not go into (technical) details.


ART stands for Android Runtime and replaces the formerly used Dalvik cache. It was introduced in Android 4.4 and has completely taken over in Android 5.0. I don’t want to go too deep into technical differences, but ART is said to improve battery life and app performance, amongst others.


The Bootloader is your phone’s software foundation. It’s basically what runs before your operating system starts (like a PC’s BIOS). As many manufactures don’t want you to modify your phone’s OS, it needs to be unlocked before you are able to root your phone or install custom ROMs (explained later).


This is something you don’t want to happen to your Android device. Like the name already implies, a bricked phone (or tablet) can only be used as a paperweight or nice decoration for your apartment. Bricked devices are irreversibly damaged and won’t work anymore. This can, for instance, happen if damaged ROMs are installed or wrong firmwares are flashed. Always make sure to read instructions and verify checksums (a set of numbers that identify the file) to make sure nothing goes wrong. If you’re lucky and your device is only soft-bricked, meaning that it does not boot but still turns on, you might be able to get it back to life.


Android, being based on Linux/Unix, offers a limited amount of UNIX commands (which most users won’t need anyways). BusyBox will implement more commands that are necessary for some root apps to work properly.

Custom ROM

A custom ROM is a modified version of the Android operating system. Tweaks, additional features, different themes or an enhanced performance are usually included. Custom ROMs also offer the possibility to use a newer, unreleased, version of Android on your phone that might usually not be available for your device because of restrictions from manufacturer or providers.


Dalvik is a virtual machine that processes Android app code. Consequently, it is responsible for translating app code into actions on your Android device.


Fastboot is a diagnostic- and engineering tool which offers you several features such as launching in recovery mode or flashing image files.


The kernel is the brain of your phone that controls how the system and hardware interact. It’s basically the lowest level of your operating system that manages memory and hardware.

NAND partition

NAND stands for “Negated AND” or “NOT AND” and describes the hard drive partition that stores all system relevant information like the bootloader, recovery mode or the kernel.

NANDroid backup

A NANDroid backup is a complete system backup of your Android device. This backup can be restored later and might save your phone after flashing a faulty ROM or theme.


The radio is responsible for sending and receiving voice and data. Using an optimized radio can improve your phone’s reception or increase battery life.

Recovery Mode

Recovery mode offers you the possibility to perform system-level tasks (like formatting, defragmenting, etc.), backing-up your devices or install custom ROMs. Android offers a limited stock recovery function. More sophisticated recoveries like ClockworkMod Recovery and TWRP Recovery offer additional features and are easier to use.


Rooting will give you full administrator access of your device. It might also void your warranty (depending on the device and your place of residence), so make sure to handle your device with care after rooting it. You are always able to revert this process by simply flashing a stock-ROM (the original ROM installed by your phone’s manufacturer). Doing this will also “restore” your warranty.


S-OFF means that the NAND partition of your Android device is unlocked. This mostly applies to HTC phones.


Rooting your phone will create a new “account” with complete administrative permissions. This superuser account is used by some apps and functions.

Xposed Framework

Xposed Framework is an app that can be installed on a rooted Android device which offers custom ROM like features on stock Android. It currently does not work on devices running Android 5.0 because it requires the Dalvik cache which has been replaced by ART.

How to Fully Backup Your Device Without Root

If your Android device is not rooted yet, you won’t be able to perform NANDroid backups. I wouldn’t suggest to root your tablet or phone without having a proper backup, because there is always a chance of error and you don’t want to brick your device.
Simple ADB Backup let’s you create a full backup of your device without root access and is the perfect solution for users without root access. The free program also offers a restore function and runs on Windows and Linux.
If you’re already rooted, make sure to check out our guide on performing a NANDroid backup.

How to Root Your Android Device

The rooting process differs from device to device which makes it impossible to give general instructions on rooting here. I’ve linked guides for some of the most popular devices below. Using the terms described earlier should make the rooting process easier for you. If your phone or tablet is not on the list, you most certainly can find a guide on the XDA-Developers forums.
Google Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Always make sure to perform NANDroid backups of your devices to be able to restore your phone or tablet to a working state. I would also recommend to validate checksums and carefully read through the instructions to avoid bricking your device.

Custom Recovery Mode

The standard Android recovery mode is very limited and does not offer many features. That’s where replacement recoveries like Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP) and ClockworkMod Recovery (CWRM) come in place. They offer the possibility to flash custom ROMs which is not possible with the stock recovery mode. Other features include a file browser for update.zips, adb shell and NANDroid backups. Without a custom recovery you won’t be able to flash a custom ROM.
It does not really matter which replacement recovery you install, just go with the one that suits you most. In some rare cases the root script or custom ROM installation only works with either TWRP or CWM. While CWM was pretty much king in the last year, TWRP has taken over and would be my suggestion to go with.

TWRP – Team Win Recovery Project

Team Win Recovery Project‘s custom recovery offers an easy and touch driven user interface. It includes all typical recovery features needed to install custom ROMs, kernels, other tweaks and many more. You are also able to backup and restore your device using TWRP.

CWM – Clockworkmod Recovery

ClockworkMod Recovery is one of the most popular custom recovery modes. It also includes all advanced recovery features like installing custom ROMs and other files, as well as a backup and restore function. You can control the CWM UI via touch or key-input.

Understanding Custom ROM Versions

As Custom ROMs are constantly improved, they usually come in four different categories: Nightly, Milestone, Release Candidate and Stable. This is what you can expect in every stage:


Nightly versions are usually generated every 24 hours and can be highly experimental and unstable. Especially early versions of a new custom ROM can have many bugs and missing features. If you want to have the latest features while risking instability – go for nightlies!

Milestone Snapshot

Milestone Snapshots are basically nightly versions that have reached a certain milestone. They can be regarded as being quite stable, but may include certain bugs and issues. Since they are only created every few weeks (or months), they won’t have the latest features that might be included in the nightly versions. If you are looking for the latest features while having a rather stable system, check out milestone snapshots.

Release Candidate

Release candidates, as the name already implies, are one of the last builds before the stable version of a custom ROM is released. RCs are mostly stable but might have a few minor issues. If you’re looking for something stable and ready for daily use, I would recommend to go with release candidates!


Stable versions are (obviously) the most stable versions around, with all or nearly all problems fixed. Some stable ROMs may still include some smaller issues or certain things not working. Stable versions are definitely the safest way to go, but it might take months before a new stable with new features or fixes is released.

Official, Unofficial & Combined Releases



I’m only able to give you a limited overview in here. If you really want to dive in I would recommend checking out your device specific sub forums on XDA developers. With Android modding becoming more and more popular, you’re often able to find many different custom ROMS for your device, especially if it’s one of the more popular phones or tablet.


CyanogenMod Logo
CyanogenMod looks very similar to stock Android, but offers several enhancements and tweaks. Besides increased system performance and reliability, it includes many interface enhancements and integrated features.

CyanogenMod Features

  • OpenVPN integration
  • Lockscreen gestures
  • Expanded quick settings
  • DSP equalizer
  • Theme support
  • Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and USB tethering
  • CPU over- & underclocking

Latest CyanogenMod Version

Currently there are five stable version and one version with snapshot status available:
  1. CyanogenMod 7 – based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  2. CyanogenMod 9 – based on Androif 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwhich
  3. CyanogenMod 10 – based on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  4. CyanogenMod 10.1 – based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  5. CyanogenMod 10.2 – based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
  6. CyanogenMod 11 – based on Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  7. CyanogenMod 12 – based on Android 5.0 Lollipop
At the moment, there is no stable Android KitKat or Lollipop version of CyanogenMod. The CM-11 snapshot releases are pretty close to being stable so I would advise you to check them out. A quite unique feature of CyanogenMod is it’s installer which makes installing the custom ROM quite easy. Besides flashing the ROM it will also root your Android device and will guide you through the whole process. Unfortunately, the installer is currently only available for Windows. CyanogenMod 12, the latest version for Android 5.0 Lollipop is
CyanogenMod is available for the majority of popular Android devices. You can find a list of supported devices on the CyanogenMod website.


AOKP It describes itself as “Android infused with magical Unicorn bytes” – that should be awesome, right?

AOKP Features

  • Added UI features and settings
  • LED notification light options
  • Performance tweaks
  • Custom toggles
  • Vibration patterns
  • Flip phone to silence ringtone
  • AOKP Ribbons
  • Silent / Vibrate mode on face down
  • New lock screen features
If you’re into customization, AOKP offers tons of features. I especially like the custom vibration patterns: You can simply set a vibration pattern for, say, Emails, Hangouts and WhatsApp messages and can “feel” which type of message you just received (if you carry your phone in your pocket ;) ). Personally I would not recommend this ROM as it seems that the community is not as big as with other ones.

Latest AOKP Version

The AOKP team is still working on an Android 4.4.4 version. Nightlies are available on the AOKP website.

AOKP Availability

The AOKP custom ROM is currently available for 44 different devices. You can find a complete list on the AOKP website.


Paranoid Android Logo
ParanoidAndroid is completely different to AOKP and CyanogenMod and one of the “newer” custom ROMs out there. It’s currently my favorite custom ROM as it’s fairly close to stock Android while adding cool features like Peek and Hover. Next to CyanogenMod it seems like PA is king in the custom ROM scene.

ParanoidAndroid Features

  • Floating notifications & multitasking
  • Hidden Navigation PIE mode
  • UI customization
  • Gesture controls
  • CyanogenMod themes support
I’ve been running PA for the past for months and really love it. It’s stable, fast and battery life is great. I can highly recommend this ROM.

Latest ParanoidAndroid Version

There are no real stable ParanoidAndroid releases available. Beta versions are released on a weekly basis and are really stable.

ParanoidAndroid Availability

ParanoidAndroid is officially only available for Google Nexus and OPPO devices on the PA website. Luckily, other devices are unofficially supported and can be found here.


SlimRoms focus on offering a clean and slim Android experience. When I first installed it on my Nexus 5 I was surprised on how much screen space can be available on a 4″ display.

SlimRoms Features

  • Complete dark skin including black Google apps
  • Updated recent screen for improved multitasking
  • Access most important apps from everywhere with new notification drawer
  • Updated camera features

Latest SlimRoms Version

The latest version is based on Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

SlimRoms Availability

SlimRoms is available for a variety of devices, focusing on Nexus, the Galaxy range and LG phones. You can find an overview here.

Flashing Custom Kernels

Kernels are the brain of your Android device and communicate between software and hardware. Therefore, they are responsible for managing things like CPU / GPU clocking speed, screen sensitivity / colors or voltage. By using a custom kernel you can not only improve battery life, but also increase system performance.
Many custom ROMs already come with their own kernels. This is done to implement software communication of the custom ROM with the hardware of the device and also to ensure a better performance. Nevertheless, you are often also able to flash custom kernels to custom ROMs. If you decided to stick to a rooted version of stock Android, flashing a new kernel can offer you additional performance with the convenience of a stock OS.
Always make sure to check compatibility of the kernel with your ROM and device, because flashing a wrong kernel can brick your phone!
There are different ways to flash a custom kernel to your device like flashing in recovery mode or using an app. I personally use franco.Kernel in combination with CyanogenMod on my Nexus 5 and couldn’t be happier. I’m able to check for kernel updates using an app. The same app also offers downloading and auto-flashing the latest version to my phone.
My experience with franco.Kernel so far is great: Heat-issues are fixed, the display colors look more like the AMOLED display of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and I have roughly 50% more battery life.


Rooting your Android device will offer you many benefits. Besides the features mentioned above, you can also install great apps that require to go deep into the system. Using them with an un-rooted device is not possible. Below I’ve listed a few apps that I like and use on an everyday basis. Feel free to share other apps in the comments section below!

Titanium Backup

Titanium Backup is a great backup tool for Android devices that offers tons of features. It provides the possibility to backup your data, settings and apps. Scheduled backups are also available. The paid pro version offers lots of great features like syncing backups with cloud-based storage providers such as Dropbox, Google Drive or Box. In my opinion this is one of the best root apps and a must-get. Especially if you’re a flashaholic, performing and restoring quick backups of all your apps (incl. settings and save games) is

ROM Manager

When you constantly switch between custom ROMs, ClockworkMod’s ROM Manager is one of the essential apps to get. Besides flashing ClockworkMod recovery, it will help you to organise and install your custom ROMs and backing-up your Android device. The paid premium version includes additional features like automatic backups, web connect and incremental ROM downloads.
rom manager


I struggled a little bit when deciding to either include AdAway or not, because it’s great for users but bad for app publishers and marketers. Google removed it from Google Play but you can still get it on the AdAway website. Like AdBlock Plus on your computer, the app modifies your Android devices hosts file to prevent apps and browsers to display advertisements. This will not only improve your app usage experience, but also increase battery life and decrease mobile traffic. Be fair and purchase paid versions of apps or donate a small amount to developers to make sure they will keep on programming great apps!
Google has recently begun to remove certain apps that violate their distribution agreements from Google Play. If you’re still interested in installing AdAway, please refer to the AdAway website.

Cerberus anti theft

Cerberus anti theft is a great app that brings many security features to your phone. You can, for instance, control your phone remotely from the Cerberus website, locate and track it as well as display messages on the screen. Remote wiping and taking pictures of the thief are also on the huge list of features.
This app will work on non-rooted devices, although the root version implements and essential feature: Cerberus can be installed wipe-proof which means that a thief won’t be able to simply uninstall the app or notice that it’s running in the background.
cerberus anti-theft

Touch Control

I love my Nexus 5, but sometimes it’s really annoying that I have to hit the physical buttons to unlock the screen. Touch Control allows you to wake up and lock your device by using gestures: Simply double-tapping the display will wake up the display. A swipe from right to left will lock the screen when the device is running. A great app that increased my Nexus 5 user experience big time.
Touch Control


Greenify is a great app to improve battery life and system performance because it puts selected apps in hibernation mode. Not having tons of apps stored in RAM or running as system processes will make your Android device faster and increase your user experience. Please refer to full review for more information.

Greenify App Overview


Frequently Asked Rooting Questions

1. How can I restore stock Android?

To get back stock Android, simply flash a stock ROM suitable for your device. This way you’ll get an unrooted, stock Android version with restored warranty.

2. What happens to my settings, contacts and apps when I install a custom ROM?

It’s always recommended to wipe your device before installing a custom ROM for the first time. If your Google account is linked to your phone, contacts, emails and apps will automatically be downloaded after launching the custom ROM and logging in to your Google account. You can backup your settings with apps like XYZ.

3. How can I upgrade a custom ROM?

Most custom ROMs offer a update function, some directly integrated to the OS, others using a specific app. You can also use ROM Manager to update certain custom ROMs.

4. Is it possible to just root a phone and not install a custom ROM?

Yes, simply use a stock ROM and root it. If you update it, your root-access will be gone, though.

5. Do I need to go step-by-step to upgrade my Android device or can I directly go to the latest version available?

You can usually simply flash the latest ROM and are good to go. Custom ROM updates usually come in a full package, meaning that you have to download the complete ROM to update it. The downloads are usually about 100-200 MB.
6. Is there a special order to flash a ROM or kernel?
I would suggest flashing the ROM first as they often include their own custom kernels. Afterwards, boot your phone with the custom ROM, go back to the recovery mode and flash the kernel. Also make sure to check whether your custom kernel is supported by the ROM.
7. Can I update or change certain parts of Android without flashing a ROM?
Not in terms of getting a newer Android version. However, you should have a look at Xposed Framework as it brings many custom ROM features to your Android installation. This will only work if you’re not running Android 5.0 Lollipop.
8. Do I have to downgrade my phone to flash ROM XYZ?
No – as long as your bootloader is unlocked and you have a custom recovery installed. With some devices, you need to downgrade to be able to do that. Custom ROMs usually don’t require a certain Android version because everything OS-wise is overwritten anyways.
9. Is there a custom ROM for my phone / tablet?
I would recommend to head over to the XDA developers forums and perform a search query there. If you’re using one of the popular devices there are usually many custom ROMs available. You can always check out Xposed Framework to add some more features to your Android device if no custom ROM is available.



1. Track your lost Android device with Google’s Android Device Manager

  • Your device is connected with your Google account.
  • Your device has access to the internet.
  • Allowed Android Device Manager (ADM) to locate your device (turned on by default). This can changed in the Google Settings app.
  • Allowed ADM to lock your device and erase its data (turned off by default).
Android Device Manager is a Google’s official and easy-to-use tool to track your Android phone or tablet. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to install an app to be able to track your devices. The only requirement is that your device is connected to your Google account, turned on and connected to the internet.
Besides tracking, letting your phone ring and wiping your phone (which has to be enabled manually), Android Device Manager doesn’t offer more options to remote control your phone. Hopefully, Google will work on that and offer more features, such as  taking pictures in case it got stolen and you want to know who took it.
In case there’s no laptop around when you lose your device, you can also use someone else’s Android phone to track it. Instead of using the mobile browser, you can also use the Android Device Manager app. If you the other phone doesn’t have it, simply download it here. You can sign in using the guest mode and your Google account credentials. Now you should be able to track your lost device, let it ring or wipe its data.
Android Device Manager screenshot
Are you not able to locate your phone this way? This can happen for several reasons. The one you should hope for, is that your device is simply not connected to the internet or turned off. In that case, simply keep trying to track it until it (hopefully) connects to Google’s services again.
In case it got stolen, it’s possible that the thief has disconneced your device from your Google Account. If that happens, neither Android Device Manager nor any other tracking tool will be able to locate the device, since it’s necessary to be logged into your Google Account. This doesn’t apply to previously installed tracking apps but in this scenario there are none on the phone. However, there’s one last resort but more on that later.

2. Remote control and track your smartphone with Android Lost

UPDATE: Due to Android API updates, Android Lost can’t be activated remotely on devices running Android 3.0 or higher.
  • Your device is connected with your Google account.
  • Your device has access to the internet.
  • You’re not running Android 3.0 or higher.
This is a more complicated way to track your phone. Basically, you need to install the tracking app ‘Android Lost’ on your phone and activate it by sending it an SMS (this can be done from any phone). How do you install something when you don’t have your phone with you? That’s very easy. You can install any app on all your registered devices directly from your browser through the Google Play website. Simply navigate to the Android Lost app and click the install button.
The remote installation process of Android Lost is very straightforward and only requires that your phone is still connected with your Google account. However, in case of theft, you have to hope that the thief doesn’t disconnect from your account.
So here’s what to do:

Step 1: Install Android Lost remotely

Install the Android Lost app remotely via Google Play in your browser and it will be installed on your phone remotely. As already mentioned, your phone still needs to be connected to your Google account. Otherwise, this won’t work.

Step 2: Activate Android Lost (not working on Android 3.0+)

If you are still in the possession of your smartphone or tablet then all you need to do is starting the app. But this is, obviously, probably not the case if you lost your phone. So, to register your device remotely, send an SMS with the text “androidlost register” to your phone. This SMS can be sent from any phone. This will trigger Android Lost to register itself using your Google account credentials.
If you own a tablet, SMS might not be an option. In that case, install “AndroidLost Jumpstart” before you install the actual Android Lost app. It will jump start the registration process when Android Lost is being installed.

Step 3: Log in to the Android Lost website

Visit the Android Lost website and sign in using your Google account. After doing that, you should have access to all remote control features such as the following:
  • Read the latest SMS on your phone
  • Force your phone to play a loud alarm with a flashing screen. Perfect if you misplaced your device.
  • Get the location of your device
  • Lock and unlock your phone
  • Wipe your entire phone so no private data falls into the wrong hands
  • Erase the SD card
  • Use the camera to make pictures (front or rear camera) to get a nice shot of the nice person who took your device.
  • …here’s the complete feature list
Note that it can take a while for the registration process to complete.

Android Lost is a great tool to get your phone back

I have to say that having the possibility to install and register this tool remotely makes it very powerful in case you lose your device. Unfortunately, The only negative thing I experienced is that the notification of a new app called ‘Android Lost’ could tell a potential thief about what’s going on. Unfortunately, activating Android Lost is only possible on Android Versions older than 3.0.
Here is a success story of a dad chasing down the man who stole his daughter’s phone with the help of Android Lost.

3. Plan B is the Android Lost alternative for devices running Android 2.0 – 2.3

  • Your device is connected with your Google account.
  • Your device has access to the internet.
If Android Lost is not working out for you and you’re phone is still running an older version of Android (2.0 up to 2.3) you could give Plan B from Lockout a try. Install the app directly from the Play Store (Link) to your device and, if successful, Plan B will send your device’s location to your Gmail address. It will send you a mail every 10 minutes with the current location. You can also use any other phone to send an SMS with “locate” to your phone to get the location via mail.
As already mentioned, Plan B only works with devices on Android 2.0-2.3, so it won’t work with most devices. Also, the app hasn’t been updated in a while, so I cannot guarantee that it will work.

4. Use Google Maps Location History to track your lost Android phone (even if it’s turned off)

  • Your device is connected with your Google account.
  • Your device has access to the internet.
  • Location Reporting and Location History need to be activated on your device (can be done in the Google Settings app on your device).
Unlike the Android Device Manager, the Location History feature of Google Maps doesn’t focus on tracking down a lost phone. You can use your location data to for many different reasons such as looking up past travel routes or last night’s pub crawl tour. However, it is also a good way to locate your phone.
google maps location
Here’s what you need to do. Go to the Google Maps Location History and make sure the current day is selected in the calendar. Click on “Show timestamps” below the calendar to see all the times your device’s location was registered. Now scroll down and select the latest timestamp to see the last available location.
Other than Android Device Manager, which also uses GPS for tracking, Location History only uses cell tower IDs and Wi-Fi location detection to collect location data. This means that the accuracy can vary significantly.
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So how can this tool help you if you’re phone’s battery is empty? Well, before your phone died, Google might have saved its current location. That means that you might be able to find it using the last reported position in your location history.
The advantage of Location History is the ability to track your phone’s location frequently over a period of time. If someone stole it, you could make out often visited places, which could be the thief’s home or workplace. That might help you and the authorities to catch the person.
I recommend trying out the Android Device Manager or Android Lost first, since they’re able to use your device’s GPS and offer other useful features.

5. Use Samsung’s Find My Mobile to find your phone

  • Your device has access to the internet.
  • You need to have a Samsung account and your device registered with it.
  • Find my mobile needs to be set up on your Samsung phone (enabling remote controls).
If you have a Samsung device, you might be able to find your phone using Samsung’s own tracking service ‘Find my mobile’. For this to work, you need a Samsung account and registered your device before you lost it. So try to remember if you did that.
You did? Awesome. Head over and sign in to the Find my mobile website. Check the left sidebar and make sure that your device is connected to your account. Now, all you need to do is selecting ‘Locate my device’ in the sidebar and click on the locate button. If your device is online and remote controls is enabled, you should see its approximate location. Find my mobile also allows you to do other things such as locking your device, letting it ring with a message and wiping its data.

6. How to use Dropbox to find your stolen phone (Android & iOS)

  • Your device has access to the internet.
  • Activated “Camera Upload” in your Dropbox app.
  • Someone needs to take pictures with your lost device.
Dropbox can be your last resort if all other approaches don’t bring you any closer to finding your phone. For this to work, however, Dropbox needs to be installed on your phone and the “Camera Upload” feature has to be activated. This way, every time your phone’s thief takes a picture, it automatically gets uploaded to your Dropbox “Camera Uploads” folder. So, if he or she takes a nice selfie you might be able to identify the thief. And if you’re lucky, you can make out the location by looking at the background of the uploaded pictures.
Should that be impossible, simply start a blog and show the world all the pictures your thief has taken. There’s one funny tumblr page sharing images of Hafid, the guy who stole the phone of the blog’s owner.
So far, that’s the only way Dropbox can help you. Dropbox doesn’t give you the IP address of mobile devices which are connected to your Dropbox account. This is only possible for Desktop PCs and laptops until now.
I hope you are reading this just out of pure interest and not because you lost your phone! But if that’s really the case, I truly hope that this article will help you track it down. Either way, I recommend installing a good tracking app BEFORE your phone vanishes. An app I recommend is Cerberus, which is available on Google Play.

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