Thanks to watchOS 8, I may never lose my iPhone again. You’d be surprised – for a device that’s seemingly stuck to my palm, I’ve put it down in all kinds of unusual places.
Until I can literally attach my iPhone 12 Pro Max to my body like my Apple Watch 6, it is completely likely to disappear. But after enabling the new ‘Notify when left behind’ setting in the Find Devices app added in the watchOS 8 software update, I found some peace of mind.
The last time I accidentally gave up my iPhone, my hometown pizzeria called the landline I placed the pickup order on. They kindly kept him safe behind the counter until I returned.
I know I wouldn’t be so lucky in all the places I frequent. Whether it’s the park, a bustling restaurant, or public transportation, there’s no shortage of places for my iPhone to be forgotten and, uh, relocated?
Now, however, my Apple Watch will alert me when my paired iPhone is left behind. As long as I haven’t strayed too far, I have a better chance of finally finding my smartphone than before.
Notify When Left Behind also works on an iPhone with iOS 15. Your iPhone can alert you when you leave an Apple device or item in an unknown location. I imagine I’ll be carrying my new iPad mini 6 (which I got for free) a lot of times, and Notify When Left Behind almost guarantees I’ll never lose it on my travels.
If I walk away from it and get a notification, I can tap Directions to my iPad, similar to how you might be directed to an AirTag key finder. And the first time I was warned about leaving my iPad at home on purpose, I hit “Don’t tell me here” to better manage my alerts.
Still, the Find My app added for Apple Watch in watchOS 8 is the most useful iteration of Apple’s device tracking feature. When I left my iPhone in my car after arriving home previously, I had no idea it was not on me or in my bag until I noticed the disconnected status icon subtle at the top of my smartwatch screen. The next time this happens, I will be actively alerted.
As if you couldn’t tell at this point, I’m the type to ping my iPhone ten times a day at least. Again, I should probably buy one of those phone strap accessories that all the kids on TikTok use (follow TechToSee’s guide to TikTok, if you haven’t already) or just convert the one of those bracelet play books that athletes wear in portable cases.
But Notify When Left Behind is much more convenient, if not free. Note that this will not work automatically when you know how to download watchOS 8. You will need to open the Find Devices app and grant it location access. Check your notification settings for your iPhone or other Apple device and turn on “Notify When Left Out” to enable these alerts.
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