Life-saving Phone Configurations Everybody Should Have!

Did you know that it is possible to setup your phone so that it could potentially save your life? The phone configurations can also help increase the chanced of getting reunited with your device if you happen to lose it one day.

We have shared this tip previously on social media but it came to the forefront of my mind yesterday as I was walking along the beach and something caught the corner of my eye in the sand where a wave had just washed back. There on the sand was an iPhone, still working and on (shows they actually are waterproof – I’ve always been too scared to test!).

I picked it up trying to try and see if there were any clues as to whom the phone belonged to. Now this is where the owner had failed to configure their phone to help in such situations. Firstly Siri was turned off – did you know that with Siri activated you can actually ask a phone “Who does this phone belong to”? If you have yourself recorded as a contact (of course not just your phone number – also your email), then anyone finding your phone has a way to contact you.

The second thing that was missing was it didn’t have the Emergency Medical ID information – now this is the lifesaving hack too – If you populate the Medical ID information within the Health App, when you click on the ‘Emergency” on the keypad of a locked screen – it will bring up all your personal information, emergency contacts, blood type allergies, medication etc. This could potentially save your life if someone needed to access your phone under different circumstances – for example if you were unconscious after an accident.

How to configure these settings on an iPhone:

To set up the medical ID on your iPhone, navigate as follows:
1. Go to Settings
2. Select Health
3. Press Medical ID and complete

For Siri, we found this can be a bit glitchy as sometimes Siri will just tell you “This iPhone belongs to XYZ” and not provide the contact details. A work around is to create a separate contact and call it “[your name] iPhone. Please contact “XYZ” if found”. You then go to the Settings, select Siri and chose the contact you just created as the “My Information” for Siri.

For Android Users:

Don’t worry if you’re an Android user, these features are also available for you too – in our opinion they are also some superior options to configure, especially for instances where you have lost your phone and someone picks it up.

One option is to set up a message to display on a locked screen – you can provide instruction on what to do if someone finds your phone. To configure do the following steps:

  1. On your phone, open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Under “Lock display,” tap Lock screen and then Add text on lock screen.
  4. Enter your message, like info that would help someone return your phone if you lost it.
  5. Tap Save.

For medical information, make use of the Personal Safety app:

  1. On your phone, go to Settings  and tap Safety & emergency.
  2. Tap Open Personal Safety.
  3. Add your emergency info.
    • For Medical information:
      • Tap Medical information.
      • To add info like blood type, allergies, or medications, tap the item in the list you want to update.
    • For Emergency contacts:
      • Tap Emergency contacts and then Add contact and choose the existing contact you want to add.

This feature is available on newer Android phones. If you have an Android 12 or earlier, then you won’t have the Personal Safety app and so instead,  sign in with your Google Account, add emergency contacts, and list medical information.


What happened next?

In case you’re wondering, I did happen to reunite the phone with its owner by pure chance and luck. Intuition made me ask a man passing on horseback if he had lost a phone, totally random but he actually said it was one of his clients. Long story short but he called the client and she came to meet me at the beach and collected her phone. I suggested she update the Medical ID card to prevent something like this happening again. I guess it was her lucky day!

This was shared as our Thursday Tekkie Tip with our contacts. To subscribe for regular Tekkie Tips and news, click here.



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