I wrote a post on the 5 things to protect your iPhone. I’ve read some other posts on features like Find My iPhone, Activation Lock, etc. After reading about the silliness of privacy int’l thinking phones can be track when off, I decided it is better change the order of what to do in a focus on the most important first.
Rule #1 for finding your lost or stolen phone - keep it connected to the network. If disconnected or off you will not be able to ring it, GPS find it, lock it, or erase it.
On iOS7 disable access to control center from the “access on lock screen” which allows anyone to put your phone in airplane mode, then put it in their pocket. You can’t ring it, or find it now.
In Android, I can't find a way to get to airplane mode from the lock screen.
Rule #2 use the OS’s find iPhone activation lock or Android Device Manager
iOS7 use activation lock in Find my iPhone.
Android use Android Device Manager. I just tried the feature on my Galaxy Note 3 and it rings it even with volume muted. Sweet!
If your phone is connected then you can find it. A thief could hard reset your phone which on some devices would turn it off, but on most the phone reboots and it is back on the network.
I hope this helps you out and your friends. My 12 year old daughter is providing mobile tech support to her friends showing how they turn off “control center” in iOS7. I’ll see if I can get my son to do the same on his bus which is where this problem started. If my son had done this, he would probably have his phone, but I would not have figured this out and shared it with many more people in this post.