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Three ways to recover a lost iPhone

For as little as 2 bucks, you can install an app that'll track your iPhone's location, allowing you to find your missing precious with any Web browser.

FoneHome is one of several apps that can keep tabs on your iPhone's location. At only $1.99, it's an unbeatable bargain.
FoneHome is one of several apps that can keep tabs on your iPhone's location. At only $1.99, it's an unbeatable bargain.

Want to have a really rotten day? Lose your iPhone. It'll make you feel sick down to the pit of your stomach. Trust me: I've been there.

Actually, losing anything important can be a nightmare: your car keys, your wallet, that cute guy/girl's phone number. The thing is, those items can't tell you where they are. Your iPhone can. All you need is the right services and apps.

I've rounded up three that should cover just about any lost-iPhone situation:

FoneHome and iHound
These two very similar apps run in the background, transmitting your iPhone's GPS-tracked location at regular intervals. If your phone goes missing, you just find a Web browser, sign in to your account, and pinpoint its location on a map. You can also transmit a custom "I'm lost" message or audio alert. The difference is, FoneHome costs $1.99, whereas iHound is $3.99, plus $10.99 per year. I've been using the former for a few months, and it works like a charm.

The Rolls-Royce of lost-iPhone options is MobileMe--and it's priced like one, too. Apple's multifaceted service costs $99 annually (though you can typically buy it for around $60 from Amazon). It not only syncs all your contacts, appointments, and other stuff, but also provides the enviable Find My iPhone, which shows the phone's location on a map (either on your PC or another iOS device running the Find My iPhone app).

Like FoneHome and iHound, it can push a custom "I'm lost" message. Unlike them, it can set a four-digit passcode (so whoever has your phone can't access it), or even remotely wipe the phone. That kind of peace of mind might be worth the steep price.

Where's My Phone?
This new app (99 cents) works on a more "local" level; it's designed for people who set their phone down somewhere in their home or office and then can't find it again. All you do is clap your hands (or make some other kind of loud noise) and the phone vibrates or plays an alert sound.

Have you found a phone-tracking app you like better than these? Tell me all about it in the comments!