Losing your iPhone is no fun. Immediately, thoughts race through your head: “Did I leave it at the restaurant?” “Did somebody steal it?” “What am I supposed to do without Twitter?” Don’t panic! Instead, close your eyes, take a deep breath…and ping it.
What does it mean to “ping” an iPhone
Depending on how involved you are with iPhones and Apple products, you may or may not be familiar with “pinging.” No, we’re not talking about Apple’s failed attempt to turn iTunes into a social media platform (and yes, that really happened). We’re talking about making your iPhone play a high-pitched tone, no matter where it happens to be.
Pinging, I’m sure, is responsible for many an iPhone owner reuniting with their $US1,000 ($1,346) lifeline to the rest of the world. It’s perfect for finding iPhones lost under couch cushions and car seats, as well as on the movie theatre floor (just wait until after the movie to ping your phone).
Pinging is the preferred method for finding a missing iPhone in your immediate area because it doesn’t matter if the phone is on silent or not. Calling the iPhone certainly works well if your sound is all the way up, but without that ringtone blaring away, your phone calls will be in vain.
Plus, we don’t always have access to another phone to call ours in these types of emergencies. Unless you’re with a friend, or you have the nerve to ask a stranger to use theirs, you can’t call your phone without your phone. So, pinging it is.
Apple makes it easy for those in the ecosystem to ping their iPhones. In fact, it offers three different methods for doing so. Check out all three below, and pick one the next time your iPhone goes missing.
Ping an iPhone using Find My
The Find My app isn’t just good for pinging iPhones; since it tracks the location of many of your Apple products, you can likely see the phone on the map as well. After jumping into Find My, you might be able to tell where the phone is without needing to ping it at all. However, if you already know your iPhone is in your house, you just don’t know where, that’s where pinging comes in handy.
If you have an Apple device connected to the same Apple ID as your iPhone, you can launch Find My there. Otherwise, you can log in to icloud.com and choose “Find iPhone.” Either way, choose your iPhone from the list, and tap “Play Sound” to ping it. At first, your iPhone will simply vibrate. After a few seconds, however, it will begin to play a high-pitched sound. This sound plays until your iPhone is found — or you stop the sound through Find My — so keep that in mind.
Ping an iPhone with your Apple Watch
If you have an Apple Watch, you can use it to ping your iPhone. It’s certainly much faster to tap a button on your watch instead of reaching for Find My, so, if you have one of Apple’s wearables, I recommend you use it first.
The option to ping your iPhone lives in your Apple Watch’s Control Centre. To access it, swipe up from the bottom of your watch face, then tap the button that features an iPhone with sound waves. This will ping the iPhone, but only for a few seconds, unlike Find My’s never-ending ping.
There’s a hidden feature to this Apple Watch button, though. If you hold it down instead of tapping it, your iPhone’s LED will flash, as well. That way, if its speaker is a bit muffled, you can also rely on the flash to help locate your phone.
If you don’t have an Apple Watch, Siri is another quick way to find a lost iPhone (or anything, really). Just fire up Siri on one of your connected Apple devices, and ask it to find the device you’re looking for. For example, you could ask Siri on your Mac to ping your iPhone, or you could ask your iPad to ping your Mac. It’s a lesser know, but still useful, feature.