Ever had your iPhone stollen? Or lost it? Find My iPhone is a free app from Apple Inc. along with now a free service to help you if you ever lose your iPhone 4, iPad or fourth-generation iPod touch. Think of it as a digital lost and found service. Once you download and install the Find My iPhone app, you register your device with Apple’s service and from that point on, if you ever do lose your iPhone, you can log into the website to track its location, send messages to it for whoever has found it to read, and also perform a remote wipe on the device so you can rest assured that your personal information does not fall into the hands of anyone. The only catch to the Free Find my iPhone feature, is that OS 4.2 is required. And the devices must have an active internet connection (3G/WiFi).
Before the Find My iPhone app was released, the feature was part of the Mobile Me subscription service from Apple. Thankfully now the service is free to anyone. There is really no reason not to get this app and sign up your iPhone. Granted if anyone does find your iPhone, depending on where you lose it, it might not be very reasonable to expect to get it back just by having this service alone. It does really depend on who finds your iPhone. Just because you can see your iPhone on a map, doesn’t’ mean you’re going to get it back. And just because you don’t have this app doesn’t mean you won’t get your device back. All and all, it is a nice to have that could ease your stress level somewhat for the time being.
The remote wipe and remote lock features are actually quite handy. So if you do lose your device, you can send a remote message with an annoying alarm that buzzes away on your iPhone. If that person never responds to you, you can try a remote lock to lock up the device permanently, or the remote wipe option, which formats the drive and gets rid of all your personal information. With the amount of identity theft going on these days, remote wipe is a killer feature, no pun intended. According to Apple, even if your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch runs out of battery, is turned off, or has no service when you initiate a commend, your device will still receive and perform the operations once the device is turned on and gains an internet connection.
Here is a video demo of the Find My iPhone app on the iPhone
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