Travel tip: Help someone find & return your lost phone

Travel On The Dollar
June 7, 2014  •  3 min(s) read

Often times we lose our smartphones while traveling and there are those great samaritans who go out of their way to return it back to us. And the easiest way to let them know is to have your mailing address or email address mentioned handy to them, especially if you’re like me who keeps a passcode on their phone.

There are ways you can track your smartphone and try and get in touch with someone on the other side, but if your phone is not in a persons hand, yet, then good luck getting it back.

Here’s a tip making it simple and easy to for someone trying to reach your loved one in case of emergency or for someone who wants to return your lost smartphone back to you:

Step 1: Put your address & other details in notes

wallpaper1Open the notes app on your smartphone and type in the following details: your name, mailing address and email address. Then enter the words ICE (In Case of Emergency) and put the name of your family member or friend and their number. Save the notes file.

Of course, you’d say there are privacy issues with this – why would anyone want to put their details on the home screen for a stranger to read them and perhaps stalk you? We do understand this and in that case you can put the minimum details you wish. This is just an example we have provided above. For example, you may just put the ICE number without any names next to it.

Step 2: Take screenshot of the notes

wallpaper5Once you’re done entering the details, you can take a snapshot of the screen, that saves as a picture in your phone’s photo album.

Different phones have different settings, but for the sake of explanation, we will demo it for iPhone here. Go to Settings -> Wallpaper -> Choose photo and select the picture you took as a screenshot. Set this to lock screen.

Now when you lock your phone and click the home button, you will see that the wallpaper has this information that anyone can access and hopefully return your phone.

Step 3: Being a good person & Notifications

wallpaper2If you find yourself to be the person who may have found a lost smartphone and would want to return it to the rightful owner, and if the owner has set their details on the lock-screen as shown in first two steps above, then you’d be the best samaritan.

But sometimes the lock screen may have notifications pending for the user to see, in which case you will see this screen, shown here on the left.

Step 4: Clear Notifications to reveal details

wallpaper3To be able to see the details of the owners lock-screen, you can clear the notifications by simply swiping your finger from top of screen down to bring the notifications screen.

Just tap the “x” for each notification group and then click “Clear”. This will clear all the notifications and you should be able to see the lock screen on the smartphone.

Contact the owner and see if you can be that awesome person to return their phone!

Send your feedback in comments.


Travel On The Dollar