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Laptops

Find My Mac locates stolen laptops, tracks your Mac

Lost your laptop? There's an app for that. Apple is introducing Find My Mac, which lets you track down your computer from any web browser or mobile phone.

Lost your laptop? There's an app for that. Apple is introducing Find My Mac, which lets you track down a lost or stolen computer from any web browser or mobile phone.

Find My Mac is a feature of Mac OS X Lion, the next version of the software for Apple computers. If your Mac goes walkabout, simply grab your iPhone or iPad -- or go online on any phone or computer -- and you'll see a map that shows exactly where the errant Mac is right now.

You'll then be able to make a message appear on the screen, perhaps telling people where to return the computer to. If it's been purloined, you can lock and even wipe the computer -- although that's the nuclear option, as it kills Find My Mac's ability to track the half-inched device.

The finding feature began life as Find My iPhone, which was the killer feature of Apple's online service MobileMe. Find My iPhone and its iPad equivalent are now free to all owners of iOS devices.

Find My Mac is just one of the features absorbed into Lion from Apple's mobile devices, including an app Launchpad and multi-touch gestures. The new features can be found in the preview of Lion currently available to developers, and will be open to the great unwashed when Lion goes on sale in July from the Mac App Store for a mere £21.

To set up Mac-tracking, you'll need to log in to Apple's new online storage, syncing and backup service iCloud, arriving in Autumn.

Find My Mac is a feature that would have prove useful to Joshua Kaufman, the San Francisco chap who recently tracked down his stolen MacBook via a blog of photos of the unwitting thief snapped by the filched laptop's webcam.

Have you ever lost a gadget -- and have you ever got it back? Let us know your stories in the comments or on our Facebook wall.