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I had that darn cell phone just a minute ago...
April 23, 2011 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Where's My Cell Phone? Can't find your cell phone? No one around to call it for you? This may help.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies (42 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Will it turn my ringer on?
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:29 PM on April 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


What an upside-down world where you have to use ringing to find your cell phone while the cell phone company apparently has all your cell phone's GPS location information.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 12:29 PM on April 23, 2011 [15 favorites]


Could anything bad happen if you give your cell phone number to some random, unaffiliated website?
posted by codacorolla at 12:33 PM on April 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


You're actually putting your own number in? I'm helping all my friends find their phones.
posted by ODiV at 12:35 PM on April 23, 2011 [63 favorites]


I have used this myself and always figured it would be open to abuse by someone who wanted to harass someone.
posted by marble at 12:36 PM on April 23, 2011


I've used this countless times and have never had any negative side effects from it.
posted by newpotato at 12:39 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


cool. side question for the pros. If I found a phone, with an empty battery, whom should I turn it into, the police or some phone vendor. i say this because if it is jimmy hoffas' iphone, i dont want to be involved. call it a morally compromised but ethically sound question.
posted by clavdivs at 12:42 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


why give my number to a website when I can use skype to call myself?
posted by Neekee at 12:42 PM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


At least you all aren't using phonetrace.org. [Note: Do Not USE! Very NSFW!]
posted by schyler523 at 12:43 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Living alone without a landline, I have used these things a few times. I'm trying to get to the point where my living space is just tidy enough I don't lose it so often. We'll see if that ever happens.
posted by gracedissolved at 12:48 PM on April 23, 2011


I've used them dozens of times, and heck, even like their page on facebook. It's saved my butt (and me from some frantic searching) more often then I'm willing to admit. They don't spam you, at all. They do have some recorded ad or something they use when they do call you, but to be honest, I've never listened to it. But before Find My iPhone was free, I was having them call me at least once a week.

They also have precautions on their page such that they will only call each number once every X number of minutes. It's to prevent nefarious use, but it's also kind of a pain when you need your phone to ring "just one more time" to find it.
posted by cgg at 12:51 PM on April 23, 2011


clavdivs : If I found a phone, with an empty battery, whom should I turn it into, the police or some phone vendor.

Easiest solution, charge it (they all take USB nowadays), redial the last number, and tell the person you found their friend's phone and would like to return it (You could also look through the address list for something like "Mom", if you prefer a less random approach).


i say this because if it is jimmy hoffas' iphone, i dont want to be involved. call it a morally compromised but ethically sound question.

What, did it get tossed out a car window and land at your feet after a shootout in the ghetto or something? ;) Don't let your imagination carry you away. Plug it in, turn it on, and make a call someone at random.
posted by pla at 12:52 PM on April 23, 2011


A missing phone accounts for half of my Google Voice usage. And at least a half of those uses results in a ringing cat (because my phone is an egg, and the cat, a very dumb chicken).
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 1:01 PM on April 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


I thought it was going to turn out to be one of those jokey one-page websites with HAVE YOU TRIED LOOKING UNDER THE CUSHIONS ON THE COUCH written in 72-point font.

Kind of disappointed that it's not.
posted by fight or flight at 1:07 PM on April 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


I have an obnoxious and loud co-worker who likes to make obnoxious and loud personal phone calls to, oh y'know, just *whoever* happens to be on his mind at the moment. I've tried entering his office phone number on this site while he's in the middle of a phone call, in hopes that he'll shut up.

It doesn't work. He just keeps on gabbing, lets it go to voicemail, and then gathers everyone around to laugh (obnoxiously and loudly, of course) at the weird automated message it leaves on his voicemail.

FML.
posted by chara at 1:11 PM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


ClaudiaCenter: Will it turn my ringer on?

Probably not, but Where's My Droid? will (if you have a Droid phone with this app installed). It's a freebie, and handy.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:17 PM on April 23, 2011 [9 favorites]


If you're an Android user, and you have a Google Apps account on the phone, you can install Google Apps Device Policy then just log into your My Devices page. This will show your phone's current location on a map (if location info is enabled on the phone) and let you ring your device with a very loud alarm, change your phone's PIN, and lock the phone if it's unlocked.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:21 PM on April 23, 2011 [11 favorites]


Probably not, but Where's My Droid? will (if you have a Droid phone with this app installed). It's a freebie, and handy.

This has been a lifesaver, as recently as yesterday morning for me.
posted by Lucinda at 1:23 PM on April 23, 2011


From Snopes re: Phonetrace dot org: "Comment: There is a new terrible, TERRIBLE prank website called www.phonetrace.org. It supposedly allows you to track anyone down via GPS through their cell phone number. Upon entering in the phone number, it shows a phony/generic satellite map, and then goes directly to a gay porn movie. This is an awful prank that could get a lot of workers in trouble if they are directed to it. I figured it is new because there is no mention of it on your website. I only found info on it by googling "phonetrace.org + prank." I hope you can help spread the word that this is an awful prank."
posted by Daddy-O at 1:25 PM on April 23, 2011


Ha! I've written a script to cycle through every possible cellphone number in the United States and enter it into this form. You'll never find your phones now!
posted by doublehappy at 1:53 PM on April 23, 2011


Will it turn my ringer on?

If you're on Android it will.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 1:56 PM on April 23, 2011


Doesn't pretty much every cell phone provider let you send texts to your phone from their website?
posted by hattifattener at 2:10 PM on April 23, 2011


It's good to know that many people have used this to no ill affect. Thanks for the link. Also,

Ha! I've written a script to cycle through every possible cellphone number in the United States and enter it into this form. You'll never find your phones now!

Greetings, friend. Do you wish to look as happy as me? Well, you've got the power inside you right now. So use it. And send one dollar to Happy Dude, 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield. Don't delay! Eternal happiness is just a dollar away.
posted by codacorolla at 2:28 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


pla, don't want to charge the phone and it did look like it got tossed, as i found near an entrance to a party store. I'm going monday to turn into police, they have a drop off area, no questions asked concerning non-lethal items.
posted by clavdivs at 2:42 PM on April 23, 2011


For anyone running an iOS 4+ device, and wants to find it (since you can't see where you've been without it), Apple has "find my iphone" for free. If your device is powered on and able to get a signal, you can have it make sounds, even with the ringer off, and lock or remotely wipe the device as well (which will nuke your previous whereabouts as well). Also it shows where your device is on a map in realtime.

You do have to upgrade your appleid to one with a full email address (if you signed up years ago, it may just be username) before it will work.

I've used it a few times to find my own phone, and help others find theres (you can install an app on your iphone that other folks can use to login with their appleid + pass to find theirs, if they have previous set it up).

I try to help every person I know with an iOS device get it setup with it.

(And no, this has nothing to do with the previous 'OMG APPLE IS TRACKING YOU' thing that is going around right now.)
posted by mrzarquon at 2:49 PM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


And for anyone with an iPhone going "neat, I'll have to get that setup" I'd suggest you take the 10 minutes and get it setup now and make sure it works by finding your phone on me.com/find. Because the next time you think about it will probably be at some point in the future when you can't find your iPhone, and it can't be setup retroactively.
posted by mrzarquon at 2:52 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Because the next time you think about it will probably be at some point in the future when you can't find your iPhone, and it can't be setup retroactively.

I recently found out about the amazingly simple Plan B for Android, which can be installed after you've lost your phone.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:54 PM on April 23, 2011


Given that you can make free calls from inside gmail, I don't think I'd ever use this. But it would have been a neat idea a few years ago.
posted by koeselitz at 3:28 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm starting a website soon where if you enter in your social security number and date of birth, it will find your financial records for you. Identity Theft? Trust me, I won't do anything with the info for personal gain. I've got big honkin Web 2.0 rounded buttons on the site, thereby proving its trustworthiness!

Coming soon, enter in your address and I'll find your bedroom window.
posted by formless at 3:28 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just follow the wire from where it comes out of the wall.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 4:54 PM on April 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


schyler523: "At least you all aren't using phonetrace.org. [Note: Do Not USE! Very NSFW!]"

I don't get it. It's just a website. Is there something i'm not seeing? Does it work?
posted by dunkadunc at 4:55 PM on April 23, 2011


Is there a website that'll shoot a high powered laser through the head of the guy shouting into his mobile phone outside my window at 1 o'clock last night? If so I'll sign up for that in a heartbeat. It doesn't have to be a laser, cluster bombs would do.
posted by joannemullen at 5:47 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I didn't know about this website, so I've been doing the same thing but a little differently. I use my mobile carrier's email to text gateway to send a text and locate my phone by the incoming text tone. I also find the gateway method useful for emailing texts to my SO's phone, since I type a lot faster at a computer.
posted by i feel possessed at 6:42 PM on April 23, 2011


dunkadunc, if you are not at all discouraged by the accurate description of the site by Daddy-O, then go ahead and type in your phone number and and watch as technology tracks your phone down and then -- BAM! MEATSPIN!!
posted by schyler523 at 7:28 PM on April 23, 2011


Only for the U.S.? That country code--1--doesn't seem changeable, unless I'm missing something.
posted by zardoz at 8:44 PM on April 23, 2011


It works in Canada too, at least.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 10:08 PM on April 23, 2011


You could also look through the address list for something like "Mom", if you prefer a less random approach

I actually did this, last year. Found a phone on the side of the road while I was walking home, and I called "Mom" and explained the situation. She somehow got ahold of her son, who called me back on someone else's phone and arranged to come get his lost item. Turned out it had fallen out of his pocket while he was on his pizza delivery shift. All was well that ended well.
posted by Maximian at 10:37 PM on April 23, 2011


There is a new terrible, TERRIBLE prank website called www.phonetrace.org. It supposedly allows you to track anyone down via GPS through their cell phone number. Upon entering in the phone number, it shows a phony/generic satellite map, and then goes directly to a gay porn movie. This is an awful prank ...

I'll say. It just gave me a lame pixellated video of bikini girls washing a car or something. No gay porn whatsoever. I am disappoint.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:39 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's something really dispiriting about the fact that gay sexuality is weaponized for prankstership.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:59 PM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've used this countless times and have never had any negative side effects from it.
posted by newpotato at 12:39 PM on April 23


Oh yeah? So what happened to the old potato?
posted by tumid dahlia at 1:31 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I use this all the time and have never had any trouble with it. It leaves a voicemail if you don't pick up on time, but that's it.
posted by NoraReed at 3:30 AM on April 24, 2011


I usually just call myself from Gmail's phone service. Is this different? And am I the only one who gets strangely paranoid about sharing my phone number?
posted by hungrytiger at 11:38 AM on April 26, 2011


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