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Use Google search to find your iPhone

Google has added a new "Find your phone" section to the My Account page. Learn how it can help you track down a lost iPhone.

Google recently made it easier to find a lost Android phone, and today the company announced similar search options for owners of lost iPhones.

Google has added a new Find your phone section to the My Account page for your Google account. Click on it and you will see a list of the devices -- including phones, tablets, Android and iOS devices -- on which you have signed in with your Google account.

Choose an iOS device and you'll see five suggestions:

  • Find and lock your iPhone
  • Try calling your phone
  • Sign out on your phone
  • Reach out to your carrier
  • Reach out for local help

While these suggestions are a useful starting point for a panicked iPhone owner who can't find their phone, the process isn't as helpful as it is with a lost Android device for the simple fact that Google can't take control of an iOS device.

lost-iphone-google.jpg
Matt Elliott/CNET

For example, the Find and lock your iPhone option merely points you to iCloud.com where you can locate your iPhone on a map or enable Lost Mode to remotely lock your phone, while the same option for an Android device gives you Ring and Locate buttons to call your device or locate it on a map without leaving the page or signing into iCloud.

Owners of lost Android devices can also simply Google "find my phone" or "I lost my phone" to view their lost phone on a map at the top of the search results page. According to Google, this search feature will soon be available for iOS devices too. In my tests, it has yet to arrive; a Google search offered to locate my Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 but not my iPhone or iPad.

The first step in locating a lost or stolen iPhone should be visiting iCloud.com from a computer or using the Find my iPhone app from an iPad or another iOS device. But, since many people may not be thinking clearly when they first realize their iPhone is missing, Google's new Find your phone section with its clear suggestions is a welcome addition to the My Account page.

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