Google can now locate your lost iOS devices

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Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 16.34.39
Thanks, Google!
Photo: Google

So you forgot to activate Find My iPhone when setting up your new iOS device, and now you’ve lost it. Fear not, because thanks to Google, you have a backup service.

Simply type “I lost my phone” into Google Search and you’ll be able to locate all the devices connected to your account.

Find My iPad leads police to gang of armed robbers

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iPad mini is the weak link in Apple's tablet business.
Gang will have plenty of time to think about their mistakes behind bars.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

From reuniting families separated by a California wildfire to tracking down kidnapping victims, there are plenty of high drama stories concerning Apple’s location-tracking Find My iPhone/iPad feature for iOS.

Well, you can add one more to the list — as police in Bangkok recently captured a violent armed gang responsible for a string of vicious robberies in the country’s northern region — all thanks to their ill-advised decision to steal an iPad mini with the feature enabled.

TrackR’s new app can find lost iOS devices even without GPS

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The iPhone 6s is selling like hotcakes.
We found your lost iPhone...
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Finding your iPad or iPhone is about to get a whole lot easier, even under the worst circumstances, thanks to a new app from TrackR that can locate your lost iOS devices regardless of whether or not its connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data.

The new free app called TrackR tablet, runs on both iPhone and iPad, and simplifies the way you find lost iDevices. There’s no sign in process to get into the app. Just open it up and ring your lost iPhone.

Mom uses Find My iPhone to track down her kidnapped daughter

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The iPhone isn't ditching LCD screens.
Find My iPhone may have just saved a life.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A mother used Apple’s Find My iPhone feature to track down her kidnapped daughter, tracing the teenager to a McDonald’s parking lot more than 150 miles from her home in Pittsburgh.

The unnamed daughter was being held against her will by her ex-boyfriend, who allegedly kidnapped her and bound her hands, feet and mouth with duct tape — but apparently (thankfully!) forgot to remove the victim’s iPhone.

Apple thinks this house is the Bermuda Triangle of lost iPhones

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Dozens of people have been told their lost iPhones are this house. But they're not.
Dozens of people have been told their lost iPhones are this house. But they're not.
Photo: Fusion

Find my iPhone is a fantastic way to recover your iPhone when it is lost or stolen. Most of the time. If you’re Christina Lee and Michael Saba, though, you hate Find my iPhone, because it has ruined your life.

For some reason, Apple constantly reports stolen or lost iPhones as coming from Saba and Lee’s small suburban Atlanta house… even though they are nowhere near by.

Find my iPhone hunt ends with family being assaulted

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iPhone 6s
This Find my iPhone story did not end well.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

There’s no doubting that Apple’s “Find my iPhone” feature can be pretty useful at times. But a recent story highlights the feature’s potential dark side — as a family was attacked after a group of people knocked on their door, erroneously claiming their lost handset was inside the family’s home.

Pro Tip: Your Apple Watch’s Activation Lock may already be on

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Apple Watch Siri
Yes, Siri. It's already on.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugThis week’s release of watchOS 2 brings a much-needed security update to Apple’s wearable by adding Activation Lock to the device, and the great news is that you may not even have to do anything to add it.

Activation Lock has been around for a while for other Apple devices, and its purpose is to keep thieves from using them even if they manage to get ahold of your preciouses. The first version of watchOS only included basic locking features and a passkey, which wouldn’t keep smart evildoers from gaining access to sensitive data like your Apple Pay data.

Here’s how the feature shows up on the Apple Watch.

Find My iPhone reunites family that escaped California wildfire

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Find My iPhone. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Find my iPhone helped reunite a separated family.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A battalion chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection was reunited with his family after they fled their burning home — thanks to Apple’s “Find my iPhone” feature.

Paul Duncan was on a job fighting a forest fire in Hidden Valley, California, when he received a panicked call from his wife saying that his family — consisting of his wife, son and two teenaged daughters — had escaped from their neighborhood when another major wildfire broke out.

Teen killed after using app to track lost smartphone

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Find my iPhone is a useful feature, but people should contact the police if they fear for their safety.
Find my iPhone is a useful feature, but people should contact the police if they fear for their safety.
Photo: Apple

There are plenty of great stories about people using the Find my iPhone feature to track down and reclaim stolen iOS devices. However, a story which emerged this week shows the tragic flipside of that phenomenon.

18-year-old Brampton, Ontario native Jeremy Cook died from multiple gunshot wounds after tracking down his lost phone, and then confronting the three men who had taken it.