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Forget Apple Find My device! This man got his lost Airpods back courtesy ‘X sleuths’

Far from depending on Apple Find My device feature, this Mumbaikar got onto X to find his lost Airpods. Lost in Kerala, found in Goa!

By: HT TECH
Updated on: Jan 07 2024, 06:42 IST
In just a day, with the help of X (formerly Twitter) members, the man managed to track down the person who took the expensive Airpods. (REUTERS)
In just a day, with the help of X (formerly Twitter) members, the man managed to track down the person who took the expensive Airpods. (REUTERS)

Far from depending on Apple Find My device feature, this Mumbaikar got onto X to find his lost Airpods. Lost in Kerala, found in Goa! Yes, you read that right, this ''crusade' took the man across state borders too, but as far as social media is concerned, it was all in a day's play! However, first things first: While Apple Find My feature is very valuable to locate lost gadgets, users should know that there are alternatives available if only they think about. So, if you really think out of the box, you can find a cheap and successful solution.

The Mumbaikar in question is Nikhil Jain, a social media marketing professional,  and he lost his Airpods while on a vacation in Kerala. Believing that all may not be lost if he turned to social media sleuths too. His faith was not misplaced.

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In just a day, with the help of X (formerly Twitter) members, Jain managed to track down the person who took the expensive earphones to his house in Goa and convinced him to give them back. Now, two weeks later, he finally managed to collect his device from a Goan police station.

Also read: Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

“The incident happened inside a national park in Kerala, I left my Airpod in a bus there. I waited for the bus to come back and realised that someone took them. There was no signal inside, so I had to leave the area to track the device. And when I finally did, it was already on the move, and was in another national park about 40km from where I was. But the next day I could track it to a hotel nearby,” Jain told PTI.

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How to track Airpods

Fortunately, Apple  knew that these expensive little earpieces can be easily lost and therefore, it has the Find My feature to locate it.  

Firstly, Find My can display AirPods on a map, play a sound to help find them and even help discover their precise location when they’re nearby. How? This way: 

  • On your iPhone, open Find My.
  • In Devices, choose AirPods. If your AirPods are out of their case, you may have to pick the left or right AirPod. With AirPods Pro (2nd generation) or later, you can also pick the case.
  • Find your AirPods on the map
  • If they aren’t near, tap Get Directions to open their location in Maps.
  • If they are near, tap Play Sound and listen for a series of beeps.
  • Depending on your AirPods and iPhone, you may also see an option to use Find Nearby. Tap it, wait for your AirPods to connect to your iPhone, then follow the prompts to find your AirPods.

So, what happens if your AirPods are “Offline” or show “No location found”? Then do this:

  • If your AirPods are not in range or need to be charged, you may see their last-known location. You may also see “Offline” or “No location found”.
  • You may be able to get directions to their last-known location, but you won’t be able to play a sound or use Find Nearby.
  • If they come back online, you’ll receive a notification on your iPhone (or other Apple device that you use them with).

All this will help you better understand the manner in which this tale unfolded.

How Jain found his lost Airpods

Jain said he then approached the hotel along with the Kerala police, but they could not do much as the location did not pinpoint to any exact room and the hotel authorities refused to help further citing client privilege.

“So, I watched my device travel through Mangalore to Goa. When it stayed put in Goa, I figured the person is from there,” said Jain, co-founder of Stonks Studio, a social media content agency.

On December 21, 2023 Jain (@niquotein) posted on X along with location coordinates: “I recently lost my new airpods in kerala and this ** person is travelling with it. the person is in south goa since 2 days, so I’m guessing they live there. does anyone here live around dr. alvaro de loyola furtado road in south goa? rt for reach, etc (sic).” ** **

The sleuths from X took over. Within minutes, user @ItsMeAshwin12 posted the picture of the house with the help of Google Street Map along with the message, “Airpods are in this house, Twitter, do ur thing and go get them (sic).”

While most jumped into the conversation to discuss technical details of tracking Airpods, a day later, the X post reached a target close enough – the neighbour’s relative.

Edward Mascarenhas (@Kooledd) posted on December 22, 2023: “My relatives stay exactly there and I sent them the deets. They mentioned their neighbors did go to Kerala recently (sic).”

He then followed it up with another post: “So they got in touch with them and they mentioned they’ll drop it off at Margoa police station (sic).”

“By December 22 evening, the device was at Margoa police station,” Jain told PTI.

Jain said he then called the police station. “They confirmed that the device was indeed with them,” added Jain.

Now, the only thing remaining for him was to collect it. “Many from X, of course, volunteered. But my friend and former colleague, Sanket (@iamsexified) chipped in, saying he will be going to Goa in a few days, so I decided to wait for him to collect the device,” said Jain.

Finally, last night, Jain posted in X, with a picture of Sanket triumphantly holding the device: “CAN U BELIEVE!!? thank u to angel sanket, goa police, kerala police, twitter, find my feature, twitter and everyone who replied to this tweet! what a beautiful story. what a community-like feeling. world is so big and yet small (sic).”

Viral X post and the offers it spawned

The original post, which saw 1.2 million views, became a target for some new-age guerrilla marketing too. Within a few hours of the post, Ather Energy (@atherenergy) jumped in with an offer: “There’s a fully charged, mission-ready Ather 450X waiting for you at Margoa. Over and out.”

A Bengaluru-based bakery went a step further to cash in on the buzz. It quickly opened X account, @bitesofben48552, on the same day, and posted its offer: “We’ve just joined @X to inform you that we’re dispatching a package of quick bites to ensure you’re fueled for your crucial mission. Hopefully, we’re not late. Kindly share your address, and we’ll deliver it from Bengaluru to your doorstep.”

Jain said although he or Sanket did not use any of these offers, the thought counted. “It made me feel good about the entire incident. Although initially, I was annoyed that the person walked away with my Airpod, I am grateful that they went to the police station and handed over the device. They could have easily chucked it somewhere and that would have made it a lot more complicated,” said Jain.

More tales of lost Airpods

As if to prove his point, another X user, Ritesh Ambastha (@riteshambastha) posted: “I’ve lost the Airpod in the house I’m living in; and it’s been 3 months I’m looking for it. I wish you the best (sic).”

Jain’s story is also proof that persistence pays. X user Himanshu Gupta (@himanshu_gg), recalls how he too lost one of his buds in Kerala while he was travelling in July last year, but didn’t think to mobilize X to get it back then. Although, he posted in X with the coordinates when it happened, he just gave up with a “I knew I will loose it someday, but not like this (sic)” and instead started canvassing for some “hidden gems” to visit in Kerala from X users.

Persistance pays

Jain said he kept at it because he kept thinking what a story it would be to tell his children if he did find them through X. “It worked out in the end. And I am happy and grateful,” said Jain.

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First Published Date: 07 Jan, 06:41 IST

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