All iPhone Owners Should Have The Find My iPhone App Installed
For all you iPhone owners out there, you might be interested in knowing how to track a cell phone location with a very cool cell phone locator application called Find My iPhone. That is, of course, if you actually own an iPhone.
This application will actually work with the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod Touch although the iPad and iPod Touch don’t have GPS functionality. This means that these devices can only be tracked via Wi-Fi hot spots which is known to be a bit unpredictable when it comes to accuracy.
This is a really cool application that is free to download and install on your mobile device but in order to be able to use the service you must subscribe to a service called MobileMe. Like many subscription services, this one offers a free 60 day trial period which should give you plenty of time to evaluate the product and decide if you want to keep it. If you decide that you want to stay with the service, you can subscribe to it for $99.00 a year.
8-26-2011 Update: MobileMe is a service that is operated by Apple or at least it “used to be operated by Apple”. Apple is in a bit of a state of limbo with this service right now. As a matter of fact, they aren’t accepting any new customers because they are discontinuing the service and transitioning over to a new “cloud based” service that they are calling iCloud. This service will go live in the Fall of 2011.
The best news about this transition is that the basic level of iCloud will be free for anyone who has iOS 5 installed on their Apple mobile devices. This means that you won’t have to pay to use Find My iPhone anymore. I guess I should elaborate on that statement a bit. Apple is giving all of their users 5GB of free iCloud storage space. If you think that you’ll need more space than that, it will cost you $20 a year for an additional 10GB of storage space, $40 a year for an additional 20GB of storage space, or $100 a year for an additional 50GB of storage space.
What Can You Really Do With Find My iPhone?
Let me tell you what the Find My iPhone cell phone locator actually does. It’s much more than a simple cell phone tracker. With this cool application, you can of course log onto any computer with an Internet connection, log into your MobileMe (soon to be iCloud account) with your username and password, and see the exact location of your cell phone displayed on a map on the screen.
If you’ve misplaced your cell phone, simply log into a computer and you’ll instantly see where it is. If you see that you left it at the office, you can relax because you’ll know that it isn’t actually lost and you’ll be able to pick it up in the morning.
This brings us to another very cool feature of the Find My iPhone cell phone tracker. Just being able to locate your cell phone when you misplace it is cool enough but the Find My iPhone program gives you the ability to send a command wirelessly from the computer that you are using to your iPhone that will lock it with a password. This prevents any unauthorized use or “snooping” into your personal information that is stored on your iPhone. It’s important to note that you must set up a password while the phone is in your hands for this feature to work. The Find My iPhone app cannot assign a password to your phone remotely. It can only lock your phone if you already have a password programed into it.
This Bonus Feature Makes Finding A Lost iPhone Easy
Sometimes you may lose your phone and use this free cell phone tracking application to discover that it is in your house “somewhere”. That may not help you find it if it’s buried under a pile of clothes which brings us to another very cool feature that this application has. You can use a computer to log into your MobileMe account and send a command to the phone that causes it to play an alarm at maximum volume for 2 minutes. This will give you plenty of time to walk around the house and find where your iPhone is hiding. They made this feature so that it works even if you have your iPhone set to silent mode! This feature will actually override silent mode and play the alarm anyway.
Many people have found themselves in a bind when they can’t find their phone and they try to call it from a land line phone only to realize that it is on silent mode. With Find My iPhone, this mode is easily overridden and it’s quite simple to track down your lost iPhone.
Find My iPhone Even Has A Self Destruct Button
There is one last very cool security feature that you’ll hopefully never have to use with this cell phone GPS tracker. Every year thousands upon thousands of cell phones are stolen and never recovered. This can be a big problem since many people keep sensitive financial and personal information stored on their iPhones. If you believe that your phone has been stolen or that you don’t stand much of a chance of ever retrieving it, it’s a good idea to use this security feature. This feature will send a command to your iPhone that will cause it to completely erase all of your personal information. This action is not reversible so do not use this feature unless you are fairly certain that your phone is a goner. Using this feature will return your iPhone to the factory default condition.
8-26-2011 Update: I know it may seem hard to believe but sometimes even I can be wrong. I just learned that if you use this remote wipe feature and you actually get your iPhone back, you can simply synch it with iTunes which will reload all of data from the latest backup. In this case, as long as your latest backup wasn’t done too long ago, you’ll be back in business in no time at all!
Thanks for reading my article on Apple’s flagship cell phone locator called Find My iPhone! Before you take off, you may enjoy reading the next post which is about the Sprint Family Locator if you have Sprint or Nextel cell phones.