Great free apps to find a missing phone

Don't Waste Your Money

If you lose an iPhone or Android, you won't get a new one for $99. Carriers can charge you up to $500 for a replacement phone if you don't have cellphone insurance.

The good news is there's an app for that: The trouble is that many people haven't downloaded it yet.

Lashay Scott misplaces her phone all the time.

"I've lost it about three times in the past month," she said. "I just forgot where I put it."

She's always found it so far.

Sam Weinbrenner was not so lucky, losing her smartphone in a taxicab.

"It was after a concert and I was on my way home and I left it in there," she said.

Apps to find a lost phone

Both of them say they would be interested in an app that could help them find their phone. They're in luck.

A number of apps can now track your phone if it is lost or stolen.

That's how Cincinnati police recently tracked down a stolen vehicle . The owner had left an iPhone in the car. Police were able to trace the phone, and catch the suspect.

Verizon's Brandon Johnson demonstrated the most popular app: "Find my iPhone."

"Lets say you go out to dinner this evening," he said. "And someone steals the phone out of your car. You can go to any computer, type in your login, and provided the phone's turned on you can get a good idea where it's at."

Download these apps

"Find my iPhone, " which is free at the iTunes store, will even let you wipe your stolen phone remotely, removing all your contacts and credit card info.

The lost iPhone app will also let you display a message on it, saying "this iPhone has been lost: Please call me at the following number if you find it."

And you can also make it ring loudly, so that if it's in a trash can or under a bed you or someone else will hear it.

For Android users, "Where's my Droid?" is very similar and also free.

Even cooler is an app called Gadget Track, but it costs $4 at the iTunes store and Android Marketplace.

It snaps a picture of the thief and emails it to you, so you'll know instantly if it's a friend, co-worker or the cute barista who made your coffee in the morning.

That way you don't waste your money.

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