Tablets are becoming the primary computing device for many people thanks to their versatility, smaller dimensions than a regular laptop, better battery life, a lighter body and other worthy features. Moreover the screen which is bigger than those found on smartphones can be used for browsing, watching movies and media consumption in general.
Many of you already have an Android tablet or an iPad and you cherish them every day because these gadgets that we use with every occasion have become a part of our lives, even in a short time. But what happens when that device gets lost or even worse, stolen?
Locate or Track iPad / Android tablet
As you already know, tablets are not cheap devices and large sums are paid for people to store and enjoy small things, such as timetables, documents, photos, movies and other personal stuff that you wouldn’t want to lose. Unfortunately, this sometimes happen and you need to know how to (at least try to) get it back. Below, we will present different methods or applications that might find your tablet when it is lost or stolen.
Track iPad with Find My iPad
For users of Mac OS X, Windows or Linux, iCloud comes with an interesting Find My iPhone, iPad, and Mac application that can represent a very good chance to get your iPad back if it was lost somewhere.
To use this feature, the iPad has to be previously enabled on iCloud and if it is, just follow the steps explained below:
- First of all, go to www.icloud.com or the iCloud application from your Mac. You can also do this by accessing Find My iPhone application from any connected iOS device.
- Once entered, choose “My Devices” and a list will appear containing all your enabled devices. Select your lost iPad and the application will search its location, but it is very important to do this as soon as possible, because your tablet needs to be functioning before it can be tracked. If that is not the case and the battery drained or the device has been switched off, it will only show its last known location.
- For those fortunate, the application offers three different modalities of continuing: Play Sound, Lost Mode, and Erase iPad. Also, it can configure the device to ask an unlock code so that nobody can access it even if it is switched off and re-started.
This code will be activated once the device is online, so if it is shut down, the iPad will be locked only when it will be turned on again. In addition, the Apple software can send an automatically e-mail with its location and a message saying that it was found.
If you don’t have any faith that you will recover it, you can erase all data from it as a last resort. There’s no turning back, but it is better than having all the personal data compromised.
Track tablets with Android Lost
Android Lost is an application which can find your tablet in case it was lost and as the name hints, it’s only available for Android devices. Besides its main feature, it has a lot of different and interesting capabilities and it can be installed even after the tablet was lost or stolen using Google Play Store, remotely via web.
Furthermore, you can use it even when you misplaced the device because it offers support for remotely controlling the alarm. If it is lost in a public place you can make your device speak through the text-to-speech feature and hope that somebody will hear it.
The great benefits of this application are that in case of losing your tablet which has a SIM installed, you can forward all calls to a phone nearby. You can also read incoming messages and send replies through the computer from the Android Lost website and, in addition, it even has a feature to hide all your messages when the tablet is lost.
The most useful feature is the capability of making pictures in case of theft. Although available only for Android devices that run at least Gingerbread, Android Lost can basically take photos with the front camera and sends them to a pre-configured e-mail address. If you think that you will not get your device back, wipe the entire tablet including SMS, contacts and Google settings with all your passwords. The great thing about it is that developers offer all these good features for free.
Where’s My Droid
Where’s My Droid is one of the most popular free applications available in Google Play Store of its kind. It is used to recover lost Android devices by giving exact location on the map of your lost or misplaced device.
It offers remote control to your tablet and has lots of other different features, such as notification of changed SIM card or tablet number, remote lock, wipe data and much more. Once installed, you have to set-up your white / black listed numbers and the passcode which locks the main menu of the application. Doing this will assure that nobody will have unauthorized access and nobody will change important settings.
Unfortunately, all features containing remotely control are only for the Pro version which can be bought through the free one. The Pro version is not available directly on Google Play Store and costs $3.99.
Please note that the latest updates of the application are reported as a virus or malware by anti-virus apps, but developers are assuring all users that their application is clean and that they are working along with anti-virus developers to resolve this as soon as possible.
Cerberus anti-theft is a complete security application which can find your lost, misplaced or stolen Android tablet. It is available on Google Play Store as free-to-try and after a week of evaluation you have to pay $2.99 for a lifetime license. Its main features are: remote control via the web portal or text messages and SIM checker. The application can also remotely activate your GPS for a quicker localization and, in case of a theft you can lock it with a 4 pin number code.
Cerberus is a powerful piece of software that can be remotely set to take photos and e-mail them automatically, when somebody introduces a wrong unlock code. In addition, it is capable of recording audio events and video for merely 5 minutes, which can be considered evidence of the perpetrator that stolen your device.
This application also works through text messages in case mobile data or Wi-Fi are not available and interesting enough, owners can activate certain features by sending SMS. In case the SIM was changed, Cerberus will send text messages to multiple contacts letting them know the location of the tablet.
The web portal is user-friendly and you will manage quickly to interact with its main features by pressing only some clicks. Once you enter the official site, you will be asked to create a new account if you don’t have it. Hopefully you will not need to use it, but if you are in this unkindly position you know that Cerberus backs you up.
Lookout Security & Antivirus
Lookout is one of the first companies that developed security solutions for mobile devices and tablets. Lookout Security & Antivirus for Android or Lookout for iOS devices is a security application that offers anti-virus protection, a feature to recover lost devices through internet and GPS, and a feature to back-up personal data.
Lookout’s interface is slick, light and user-friendly, letting owners access all major settings with only a few clicks. The web portal from where you can remotely control the lost or miss-placed device is astonishing and offers a lot of different features. Once entered, pressing the Locate button will begin the haunt.
From the website users can also make it “Scream”, namely to start an alarm for 60 seconds which can be stopped immediately when the tablet is found, by pressing the “Stop Screaming” button. Furthermore, when you initiate a “Locate” or “Scream” action, Lookout is able to turn ON the GPS for better results and shut it down when the process is done.
By far the most interesting features are Signal Flare, which actually saves your device’s location right before it runs out of battery, and the capability of taking a photo and send it via e-mail when the unlock code was wrongly entered for three times in a row. Unfortunately, Lookout has a big drawback, because it’s not able to alert owners via e-mail when the SIM card was changed.
The Android application comes in two versions: paid and free. The paid one unlocks other different features that normally aren’t available in the free version, such as lock the screen and wipe all data, for a price of $29.99 per year.
GadgetTrak is an application specialized in mobile security which won a lot of different awards. It will track a lost Android or iOS device being able to tell its location in every moment, even if it is miss-placed somewhere in your home. All of these just by pressing a Start Alarm button remotely.
The whole process of localization can also be done on a tablet without GPS because it can use cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots mapping to find your device with great accuracy.
GadgetTrak has the ability to completely wipe all data from tablets in case it was stolen and for this, developers also came with a backup feature. You can copy all contacts and photos to GadgetTrak’s server to make an online backup. To prevent wiping your device by mistake developers implemented a code-confirming feature that works via e-mail.
Also, the application has the possibility to automatically take photos with the front camera and send them by e-mail. Unfortunately, this feature is not available in the basic version and you will have to pay extra to unlock it. When it comes to pricing, Android users have the advantage of a free-to-try seven-day period that can only be continued after paying $19.95. On the other hand, iPad users can buy the software right-away for just $3.99.
Track iPad with FoneHome
FoneHome is another popular service to track and recover lost iPad (or Android tablet/iPhone/iPod Touch). It comes with some amazing features like locating the iPad/android tablet on a map, leaving a message for someone who has your tablet to contact you, remotely activating a siren, remotely locking your android tablet, remotely taking a photo of the thief with the front camera and more. A great utility which comes at a decent price of $2.99. Download FoneHome for iPad or Android tablet.
Alternatively, you may also think of trying Latitude from Google, because it keeps track of device’s location. The big disadvantage is that it had to be activated before, so this cannot be done remotely when you already lost your tablet. If you want to do it, it’s very simple, just launch Google Maps on your tablet and under settings select and activate Latitude Location Sharing. It may help you one day.
P.S: those who wish to monitor their Android phones or iPhones, we also have a round-up of best tools for that.