Apple patents easy way to get a lost iPhone back to its owner

Find My iPhone is a great feature to have if you’ve ever realised you’ve misplaced your iPhone. You can not only track the device, but also post a message on the Lock screen asking a finder to contact you …

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But none of that helps if you haven’t yet realized your phone is missing. That’s the scenario Apple aims to cover in a new patent granted today.

It is very difficult or impossible for an honest finder of a lost device with a security authentication scheme enabled to proactively attempt to locate the owner of the device to facilitate returning the device to its owner […]

Some embodiments of the invention provide a secured device that allows a user to initiate a communication with a particular contact stored in the device by bypassing the device’s security scheme […] By allowing an unauthenticated user to communicate with the particular contact using the device, the device enables an honest finder to contact the particular contact even if the device is secured, in case the owner of the device loses the device

Anyone finding the phone would see an option to call a contact, which would be someone you’ve chosen as the person you’d like to be notified if someone finds your device.

There is already a way to give someone a contact to call manually, though it does require an iPhone-savvy finder. You can enter contact details in the Medical ID section of the Health app. This info is accessible if someone presses the Home button to bring up the keypad, touches Emergency and then Medical ID.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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