Find My iPhone is an app from Apple that allows you find your iOS device via GPS. Think – lost iPhone, lost iPad, or your kid is not home yet. Yep, you can use the GPS of your, or someone else’s, device to find it on a map. So if you are not sure if you left it at work or the restaurant, you simply log into the Find My iPhone (iPad) app and, after a short wait, it will display the location on a map. Super cool, super easy, and super free. That last one is an important note, but I’ll explain that later.
What do you do when you find it? You can display a message on the device like “I’m an idiot and left my phone here, please call me at …”. You can cause the device to emit a sound, which is great when you know the phone is in the house but have no idea where. And, if you think you may have issues getting the device returned to you, you can remotely lock or wipe the device.
There are some issues you should know about. First, the Find My iPhone feature must be setup and enabled, and it may require an iPhone 4. You can use the service with some older iPhones, but an iPhone 4 is required during setup if you are creating a free Apple ID. Second, the app does not always pinpoint the device. Sometimes it can only show a large circle that your iphone is in, somewhere. Still, that usually is enough to tell you where you left it, or that your kid is not where they said they would be.
I mentioned the service is free. This used to be available only to people who subscribe to MobileMe, the Apple web based email, sync service. Now, anyone with an iOS device can use it with their Apple ID, or through a Free Apple ID.
One note…. It does no good to have the app only on your iPhone. If you loose it then that app does no good. Make sure you have the app on both your device and someone else’s. If I loose my phone, I can use my wife’s to find it. You can also use the web-based MobileMe service to find it, but that is not convenient if you are out of the house.
There is no reason for any iPhone, or iPad user to not have this feature available to them. It’s available in the App Store for both iPhone & iPad. It’s rated 3 stars from 36,471 ratings. Not sure why a free app gets 3 stars. This free service is fantastic.