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3rd September update: A friend of mine suggested that you could also have an In case of Emergency (ICE) contact number on your wallpaper – and that sounds like a good idea. Other ideas could be adding any allergies and your blood type.

I’ve seen a few Facebook posts recently, whereby someone has found a camera containing some photos, or a smartphone with a photo on the lock screen. All are trying to reunite the owner with their property.

Here’s the last one, I saw posted by a friend of a friend (UK-based Sarah Ashley-Ruff) a couple of days ago:

Found an iPhone 5 at V Saturday, trying to reunite with the owner who I guess is the young lady in this pic. Everything else has failed so far. Come on Facebook let’s reunite this phone with owner!

lostphone

I can see that the phone doesn’t have any service, so the owner can’t call, nor can they use ‘Find my iPhone’ to find it.

The finder can’t unlock the phone and so the only clue is the photo. And yes I did notice that the girl is pretty cute, but also way too young for me even if I were available.

If you recognise the couple in the photo then let me know and I’ll pass on the news.

So it made me think about my own iPhone. My current lock screen wallpaper is just the default picture – it doesn’t even have a picture of me to circulate on social media if I lost the phone.

I decided that what I need was to change my wallpaper to a picture that also contained some text that could assist the finder reunite me with my phone. Sadly the iPhone photo editor doesn’t have the ability to add text to a photo. However, there are a few ways to do this:

  • Add text to a photo using a application on your home computer – Microsoft Paint can do that. Then email the picture to your phone and save.
  • Download a free app that can add text to pictures. I downloaded and tried an app called Phonto and that worked pretty well.

Whatever method you use, don’t add text to the top half of the photo as the time/date display will overwrite your text. My attempt is below:

Bug Advisor Lost iPhone.To make this photo the wallpaper on an iPhone:

  • Choose [Settings] [Wallpaper] [Choose a New Wallpaper]
  • Browse the photos folder for the photo you created with text added and select the photo.
  • You will then see your photo with the time/date display superimposed over the top of it.
  • Move your photo around until it looks okay.
  • Choose [Set] [Set Lock Screen].

Now lock your phone and test to see if that appears ok. Mine looks like this:

Lost Phone complete

The ‘swipe to unlock’ blurs the picture, but the reality is clear enough. I chose $70 as it seemed like a reasonable reward – I used dollars as most people know the value of a dollar in their own currency.

Sorry these instructions are only for iPhone as that’s what I’m using. I’m sure you can something similar on other phones such as Android etc.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple add a ‘if lost text’ feature to their next version of iOS – nut until then..