Your phone is with you at all times, until one time, it’s not. That’s when you realize that you are never prepared for this to happen. Panic sets in.
This is easily preventable – not losing your phone, but retaining control over finding it. There’s also ways to prevent hundreds of dollars from going missing from your wallet anytime your phone takes an unsupervised swim, or a drink from the toilet. You’ll thank ‘past you’ who was wise enough to purchase a warranty when it costs you hundreds less to replace your phone after an accident.
Here are a couple tips to help make sure you’re saved from the headache that comes with a lost or damaged phone.
Before you leave the Apple Store after buying your new shiny iPhone, we’re telling you to BUY THE APPLE CARE. We type in caps, because we care a lot about this particular option that Apple gives to its customers. The normal Apple Care protects against manufacturer mishaps, like a broken lock screen button, but not against things like water damage. If your screen shatters, they’ll replace your phone for a lot cheaper than having to buy a completely new one. If you upgrade to Apple Care+ which is more expensive, you’re covered for two “accidents” like water damage. So if your phones have a penchant for swimming, you’re better off spending the extra money to get the Plus care. It’ll save you some serious headache and money later on down the road.
When you buy your Nexus phone it comes with a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty. If you purchase Nexus Protect, you get an additional year of coverage for mechanical breakdowns and two years of protection from accidental damage (again, think phone’s swimming in puddles and toilets). It’s under $100, but even cheaper if you have a 5X versus a 6P. Also, let’s say your phone breaks and it’s covered under warranty. In one business day, Google will ship out your new replacement phone, and shipping of your broken phone back to headquarters is on Google. Bonus: you let your sister borrow your phone and she accidentally drops it off a freeway overpass (stranger things have happened)- the warranty covers it, because your phone is under warranty, not you as the owner of the phone.
Standard warranty when you buy your Motorola phone only covers you with a year of mechanical failure coverage. Not great. When you upgrade to Moto Care you get two years of coverage with up to three incidents of accidental damage covered, a new phone shipped out to you before you’ve even shipped your damaged one back, and accidental damage covers liquid damage too.
Samsung Protection Plus:
Two years of coverage protects you from drops, spills, cracked screens, accidental damage, mechanical and electrical breakdown after your manufacturer one year warranty expires. You have a limit on replacements though for those accidental damage claims – only two in a 12 month period. Starting at $99 for a two year plans, they’re right there with the Apple Care prices.
Your carrier also will offer a protection plan for phone. Our advice is to go to the manufacturer and use their warranty, especially if you’re buying an iPhone. For those Android users who buy phones that don’t offer an additional protection plan; you should look into your carrier’s coverage plans.
The word to the wise is that you should always have a protection plan. Just like life is incredibly unpredictable, so is how well your grip on your phone will hold up in a lot of situations. It’s important that you’re always covered on the warranty end because if you damage your phone, you’ll be really glad you spent the extra $100-150 up front for the warranty you didn’t think you would need versus the $450 and up to entirely replace your phone.
Backing Up Your Phone
This should be a scheduled thing. You should be backing up your phone at least once a month in some type of capacity, whether that is saving everything to Google or Apple Cloud. Keeping things in the Cloud could seem scary because no one really knows how the Cloud works, but when your phone goes missing and your new replacement comes, you’ll be happy all those photos you took at your nephew’s fifth birthday are saved into the Cloud.
Backing up your phone makes replacing a phone a much simpler process. All you have to do to get your replacement phone up and running is simply pull everything down from the Cloud, and you’re set. This has personally helped me many times whenever I have lost a phone, or even something as convenient as switching between different phones.
You need to register your phone with its respective tracker app. If you’re paranoid about the big giants knowing where you are at all times and have the tracker apps disabled, let me fill you in on a little secret: they know where you are at all times whether or not you have the app enabled or not. So in order to save yourself a lot of heartache when you lose your phone you may as well enable the GPS tracker app. For those security paranoid, we’ll take more about “big brother” style giants like Google and Apple at another time. Just enable the tracker app.
iPhone: Find My iPhone
It’s important to note is that you have the have Find My iPhone installed and your phone registered with the app in order for it to serve you in the event your phone is lost. If you don’t set it up, you can’t enable the app. It won’t work. This app enabling should be the second thing you do after you get your shiny new iPhone home from the store. With this app you can locate your missing device on a map, play a sound for a full two minutes even if it was set to silent, remotely lock your device with a passcode, display a custom message on the lock screen, and view a recent location history of your device while in the Lost Mode (which you would need another iOS device in order to see). You can also remote wipe your phone and check the battery status, which is important so you don’t assume if the phone is “off” that it really actually just isn’t “dead”.
Android: Android Device Manager
Same rule applies here: if you don’t enable the Android Device Manager before you lose your phone, it won’t help you. Once you enable the app, you can locate your missing phone on map, instruct your phone to ring even if it set to silent, set a PIN number for your device (which can buy you some more time in case your phone has been stolen), and wipe your phone, which means erasing all of the data on your phone.
Overall these tips will help prevent you from ripping out your hair wondering where you went wrong and why the universe is punishing you by having to make another $500+ investment on another phone. We’ve all dropped our beloved phones just right so that the screen shatters into a million and one pieces. We’ve also all been there when your friend’s phone seems to just jump right out of their hand right into the perfectly placed puddle on the side of the road. As you watch your friend hysterically trying to fish their phone out of the water, you can feel secure knowing yours is protected from whatever life throws your way.
Okay, so you’ve lost your phone or it’s been stolen. What do you do now that you’ve set everything up ahead of time? Go read our article on How To Deal With a Missing Phone.