Depending on its features, one can pay anywhere from $350 to $17,000 for an Apple Watch. Throw in another $50 to $450 for a band, and the watch can easily become a major investment. Considering this, one might naturally assume that Applecare would replace the watch were it to be stolen. Think again.
Neither AppleCare, nor Apple’s Limited Warranty will replace a lost or stolen watch. There are simply too many ways to defraud the company if this were the case. For instance, one could pay a large sum of money to buy an Apple Watch, give it to a friend, and then claim it had been lost or stolen.
Applecare does have a Lost and theft plan; however, it only covers the iPhone and will not work with the Apple watch.
Apple does not fail, however, to come up with an excellent alternative to replacing the device by enabling Apple Watch owners to control their watches remotely and, in many cases, to even locate missing watches just by following a few simple steps. According to Apple Support, the watches are sold with a special location app that can zero in on the location of the missing watch so long as some initial instructions are followed.
A link, a connection and a setup
The steps involve linking the watch with other Apple devices, such as an iPhone, and connecting them to the user’s Apple ID. The next step entails setting up the “FindMy” feature on the phone, which is easily accomplished by accessing the phone’s settings app. Once the settings are open, the user should tap his or her name, followed by the FindMy function. Next, the device should be indicated, which in this case, is the Apple Watch, followed by turning on the FindMy Apple Watch function.
If the watch has GPS and uses a cellular network, the GPS can zero in on the location of the watch, which can be viewed on a map by signing in to iCloud.com or by using the FindMy app to find the location of the watch on a map. If it does not appear, this indicates that it is probably not connected to aWi-Fi or cellular network, or to a paired iPhone. Alternatively, if the watch is within close proximity, the Play Sound function on the watch can be engaged from an iPhone or Mac computer, which will cause the watch to send an audible alert that can assist the owner in locating it.
Additionally, Apple provides an entire FindMy network, which is an anonymous, encrypted network that displaces millions of Apple devices, which can go far to help locate the lost or stolen device.
How it works
The best thing about this system is that it can help Apple Watch owners not only locate approximately where their watches are. It can also help them protect their data if they also own iPhones that are paired with the watches. When the Find My iPhone is installed on the phone, it is automatically enabled on the paired with an individual watch, or any watch that has been paired using the Family Setup feature. By using Activation Lock, no one can erase the data on the lost Apple Watch unless the person who finds it knows the owner’s Apple ID and password. The app will return a message to the owner of the Apple Watch confirming that Lost Mode has been activated. Should the watch be returned to the owner, Lost Mode can be disengaged by tapping on the unlock function and entering the device’s numeric passcode. It can also be disengaged through iCloud using a paired iPhone.
Ways to protect the data on a lost or stolen Apple Watch
A real concern when an Apple Watch is missing, it that the data contained on the watch will be compromised. Apple has this covered as well by installing the “Lost Mode” that enables the watch’s owner to lock it by using iCloud. It even allows the user to send a message to the person who might have found the phone, ensuring even greater chances of its safe return to the owner. This feature can be engaged by using an iPad, an iPhone or an iPod Touch. This feature, too, only involves only a few simple steps.
After opening the FindMy app, the Apple Watch icon should be engaged. The section that indicates the Mark as Lost status should be tapped to activate this feature, followed by tapping on the “continue” icon. The owner can then type in his or her phone number to alert the person who found the watch, and after tapping “continue” a message can be entered that the person in possession of the watch can see. The message is sent by tapping on the “activate” icon.
What to do if Find My is not engaged before the watch is lost or stolen
There are three steps to follow to secure the data on a lost or stolen Apple Watch if the “Find My” function has not previously been engaged.
- It is important to place the watch in Lost Mode as soon as possible to prevent anyone who does not have the owner’s Apple ID and passcode from accessing its data.
- The owner of the watch should immediately change his or her Apple ID password. This will prevent any unauthorized access to the owner’s iCloud information or from using any other services that can be accessed through the missing watch
- The loss of the devices should be reported to local law enforcement authorities who may request the watch’s serial number. The serial number can be found initially in the device’s settings under the general category by tapping on “about”. This should be done when the watch is first activated and should be kept in a safe place for future reference.
Another way to obtain the serial number is to check the bar code on the device’s original packaging. It could also appear on the watch’s invoice or original receipt.