New Lookout Apple Watch App Helps Locate Lost iPhones – Review and Test Drive
Several decades ago, my father, the CEO of Spiratone, at the time the country’s largest supplier of photographic accessories, came up with the idea of a gadget bag that would alert the photographer if someone were to pick it up.
The system, which was considered advanced for its time, involved a motion sensitive switch that was controlled with a special key for arming and disarming the system, and an electro-mechanical buzzer that was quite loud and would latch on when set off by just moving the bag. There was no microprocessor, no Bluetooth, yet it worked quite well and earned plaudits in Popular Photography and Modern Photography magazines.
Fast forward to today: my biggest concern is the possibility of leaving my Apple iPhone behind. I briefly did that at a casino, having placed the space grey/black iPhone, in a black case, face down on the black surface of a slot machine and blithely walked away. I realized this minutes later and, because the phone blended in so well with the surface it was on, found it undisturbed where I had left it.
My concern would have been unnecessary had I already had Lookout’s Apple Watch app installed. The app, which took seconds to install on my iPhone 6s Plus, will automatically issue an alert on the watch if separated from the phone (it uses Bluetooth to determine the range).
The app runs simultaneously on both devices and its leash code, which the security company explains enables its distance meter and notifications, runs on the phone in the background. While there’s no fixed distance in terms of how far one might stray from one’s phone, as it is impacted by the environment and the number of similar devices nearby, once I walked out of my office, just outside the door, my watch immediately alerted me that “Your phone is almost out of range.”
If I don’t know where my phone is, I could set off a siren (which works even if the phone is on silent) and the heat map tells me if I am warm or cold when attempting to locate the errant device. The heat map, scream screen, and last location indicator all run directly on the watch.
The scream function works quite well and never failed to function. I’ve also been alerted every time I walked away from the device (deliberately, for testing), and I have not received any false alarms.
People leave their phones behind in the oddest places and too often fail being reunited with them. While there’s no guarantee, the Lookout Apple Watch app – which is free – is a good way to help ensure you aren’t one of the unlucky.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)