Increase the chances of recovering your lost iPhone by enabling 'Send Last Location' in iOS 8

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2015
A new and potentially crucial feature in iOS 8 allows an iPhone or iPad to send out its last-known location just before the device's battery dies, increasing the chances that a user might be able to recover their lost Apple product.




The new "Send Last Location" feature will automatically transmit an iOS device's last known location to Apple when the battery drains to a predetermined point. This saved information will provide owners with one more chance to find the missing device before it disappears from the grid.

It can be enabled by opening the Settings application in iOS 8, choosing iCloud, and then Find My iPhone. Turning on the new feature ensures that the location of the device will be sent to Apple and stored one last time when the battery becomes "critically low."

Find My iPhone, iPad and Mac is available to all users with an iCloud account. The location of the device can be accessed by using the official Find My iPhone application for iOS, or visiting iCloud.com.

Other capabilities of Find My iPhone allow a user to place their device in "Lost Mode," which will enable tracking of where a device has been in addition to its current location on a map.




Users can also immediately lock their lost device and send a message with a contact number, in hopes of retrieving it. Apple allows whoever has the lost iPhone to call the number displayed on the lock screen without accessing the rest of the device.

Apple also includes "Activation Lock" to prevent anyone from using a stolen iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. This requires an Apple ID and password to be entered before a person can turn off Find My iPhone, erase a device, or reactivate it.

Finally, Apple also gives users the ability to initiate a remote wipe of a lost iOS device. Doing this will delete personal data and restore an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or even a Mac to factory settings. A user's custom message can continue to be displayed on the device even after it has been remotely wiped.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34

    Correction: I didn't find it in Settings->Privacy->Location services. However, as another poster said, I found in Settings->iCloude->Find My iPhone

     

    My 5c is in iOS 8.01. I can't see the "Send Last Location" switch. Can you?

     

    I can't remember if I saw it in iOS 8.0. I guess it was there.

  • Reply 2 of 34
    There's something pitifully sad about a lost iPhone, in its last act before giving up its life and shutting down, sending about its last location in a "Please find me. I'm here" message. Oh, poor little iPhone.
  • Reply 3 of 34

    It's amazing how far iPhones have come since the original.

     

    I remember holding the thing and feeling like I was using a device from Star Trek or something.

     

    Compared to now, my original seems a little like an obscure toy.

  • Reply 4 of 34

    The headline implies that the article will inform the reader how to turn on "Send Last Location".

    Alas, the headline sadly promised more than the article could deliver.  

  • Reply 5 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



     Doing this will delete personal data and restore an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or even a Mac to factory settings. A user's custom message can continue to be displayed on the device even after it has been remotely wiped.

    So not exactly factory settings then. The iPhone is still locked and bricked, right?

  • Reply 6 of 34
    Where the hell is it?
  • Reply 7 of 34
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post



    Where the hell is it?

    Settings > iCloud > Find My Phone

  • Reply 8 of 34
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,296member
    There's a really useful Lookout feature (iOS/Android) that I think should be included on all smartphones: Lock Cam, which emails you a picture of anyone that incorrectly enters the lock screen combo three times.

    There's been a few smartphone thefts making the news in my area where the owner received a pic of the thief and either recognized them or turned the images over to their local police for publishing and identification.
  • Reply 9 of 34
    I basically never let my battery run out fully* so this setting is irrelevant UNTIL it gets stolen. So yes, I'll be using this feature!

    (* Unless I'm calibrating it. Which I'm glad I just did: I thought my 2-year-old iPhone 5's battery was noticeably weaker than when I bought it, and then I tried to run it down... it ran for AGES at 5%, making phone calls and downloads and even sitting with the lamp on! Turns out my battery life is much better than I thought, but the % meter needed run down and recalibrate for accuracy.)
  • Reply 10 of 34
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ibeam View Post

     

    Settings > iCloud > Find My Phone


    Apple's Settings page has become so ridiculously complex. Why they still haven't added a Search function to the app is beyond me.

  • Reply 11 of 34
    gatorguy wrote: »
    There's a really useful Lookout feature (iOS/Android) that I think should be included on all smartphones: Lock Cam, which emails you a picture of anyone that incorrectly enters the lock screen combo three times.

    There's been a few smartphone thefts making the news in my area where the owner received a pic of the thief and either recognized them or turned the images over to their local police for publishing and identification.

    Unfortunately, the efficacy of this relies on the thief not knowing about it, so making it a built-in feature of every phone would greatly reduce its usefulness.
  • Reply 12 of 34
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,296member
    retrogusto wrote: »
    Unfortunately, the efficacy of this relies on the thief not knowing about it, so making it a built-in feature of every phone would greatly reduce its usefulness.

    Ooooh...
    Excellent point.
  • Reply 13 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Retrogusto View Post





    Unfortunately, the efficacy of this relies on the thief not knowing about it, so making it a built-in feature of every phone would greatly reduce its usefulness.

    I don't know. Most people would notice they have lost their phone well before the battery runs down and would be using Find My Phone. The send last location is only a second line of defense. For a thief to disable it, they would have to have already cracked the passcode unless they stole it out of the user's hand while the phone was unlocked. Even in that scenario they still can't turn off Find My Phone or restore the OS without the passcode. Send last location would be useful when a force shut down occurs as well.

  • Reply 14 of 34
    Where is the PIN/Touch ID-required-to-power-down feature?
  • Reply 15 of 34
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ibeam View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Retrogusto View Post





    Unfortunately, the efficacy of this relies on the thief not knowing about it, so making it a built-in feature of every phone would greatly reduce its usefulness.

    I don't know. Most people would notice they have lost their phone well before the battery runs down and would be using Find My Phone. The send last location is only a second line of defense. For a thief to disable it, they would have to have already cracked the passcode unless they stole it out of the user's hand while the phone was unlocked. Even in that scenario they still can't turn off Find My Phone or restore the OS without the passcode. Send last location would be useful when a force shut down occurs as well.


     

    Definitely - send location on shut down would be very useful. An optional "send location at set intervals" would also be nice.

  • Reply 16 of 34
    Keep the tips coming, they're great content.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post



    Where is the PIN/Touch ID-required-to-power-down feature?

    That one is problematic because if the phone OS partially locks up or becomes unresponsive you might not be able to reboot it.

  • Reply 18 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

     

     

    Definitely - send location on shut down would be very useful. An optional "send location at set intervals" would also be nice.


    Intervals would be useful and keep a log of it. That is what that app Lookout apparently does (premium version).

  • Reply 19 of 34
    ibeam wrote: »
    I don't know. Most people would notice they have lost their phone well before the battery runs down and would be using Find My Phone. The send last location is only a second line of defense. For a thief to disable it, they would have to have already cracked the passcode unless they stole it out of the user's hand while the phone was unlocked. Even in that scenario they still can't turn off Find My Phone or restore the OS without the passcode. Send last location would be useful when a force shut down occurs as well.

    I was talking about the app that takes someone's picture if they type I wrong pass code three times. If thieves knew that all phones take your picture after a few wrong tries, they would just cover up the camera with something. The app relies on the thief not expecting to be photographed.
  • Reply 20 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ibeam View Post

     

    So not exactly factory settings then. The iPhone is still locked and bricked, right?




    The iPhone will be put back to factory settings. It's the equivalent of going to Settings->General->Reset all settings and data (second option down)

     

    But you are correct sir. After all data and settings are deleted from the iPhone, Activation Lock persists as this information is stored on Apple servers, rather than the device.

     

    During the activation process (when the phone is being setup) the phone pings Apple's activation server with details like serial/imei/sim+carrier details and makes sure everything is ok. If the device had Find My iPhone enabled, activation is rejected until Apple ID + password is entered to unlock.

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