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Monday, May 26, 2014

1487. Add identification to phone lock screen

I worry about losing my phone--there's nothing on the home screen that identifies me, or it. Is there some way to add text to a phone's home screen so that even while it's locked, someone who finds it would know who to contact, so I can get it back?
Although this situation is different for different phone types, we’ll focus on the iPhone here (because it’s the phone both Doug and Ken use daily). It’s true: Although you can select a photo to display on your phone’s lock screen, there’s no built-in mechanism for adding any identification to the screen, so that if you were to lose your locked phone (it IS locked, right? If not, shame on you!) no one would know to whom the phone belongs. (This actually happened to Ken once—he left his iPad in the seat pocket on a plane. Don’t do that! Luckily, his call to the airline ended with a happy resolution, and he was soon reunited with his lonely, otherwise unidentifiable iPad.) You really do need to identify your device on its lock screen, so an honest person could contact you and return the device.
Luckily, there are applications that can help you with this problem. Ken did some research on this problem recently, and found two likely iOS candidates: Both the apps, Lock Screen and Over, allow you to add text to an image, save it, and then select it to be your lock screen image. Once you’ve added your text (usually including your name, email address, and phone number) and set it up as your lock screen image, anyone who finds your device would know how to return it.
And although you could use these apps (or any of the others like them) to annotate and image and add it to your lock screen, Ken’s friend Sue suggested an easier solution: write your information on a piece of paper, take a picture of it, and use that as your lock screen image. Simple, free, and done. Sometimes, the low-tech solution really is easier.
Whether you use an application to generate an image with text, or you take a photo of a hand-written note; make sure you identify your device on its lock screen. If an honest person finds your device, you’re far more likely to get it back if you do!



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