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Summary:

Apple has been on a kick releasing new applications for its iOS devices over the past few weeks. Now, coinciding with a redesigned MobileMe, Apple has released the native Find My iPhone app for both the iPhone and the iPad.

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Apple has been on a kick releasing new applications for its iOS devices over the past few weeks. First, there was the iTunes Connect app, then there was the Apple Store app, and now, coinciding with a redesigned MobileMe, Apple has released the native Find My iPhone app for both the iPhone and the iPad.

Apple is no stranger to the fact that a growing majority of its customers own more than one Apple product. Seeing numbers like two million iPads in two months and 600,000 iPhone 4’s in the first day only add weight to this argument. To make it easier for users to keep up with their iDevices, Apple introduced the Find My iPhone feature in MobileMe that can use GPS (or Wi-Fi if the device is on) to locate your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

If you haven’t had a chance to use it or if you’re not a MobileMe subscriber, it’s a very compelling reason to consider Apple’s cloud-based service. Beyond just being able to locate an iOS device on a Google map, you can also remotely lock it, remotely wipe it, or push a message notification and sound to the device. Maybe you lose your prototype iPhone 4 at a bar and you need to remotely lock it or push a message to it saying “Please don’t post this prototype iPhone on Gizmodo.” MobileMe’s Find My iPhone service has you covered.

Some people do criticize the service for not pinpointing a super accurate position of where the device is located, so this is a great opportunity to point out a few technical limitations (such as GPS does not work indoors). However, if you’ve ever had your iOS device stolen, locating your device on a map is still very useful.

Apple’s MobileMe solution is great, if you happen to have access to a web browser to make use of it. But for those times where you are on your iOS device, logging into MobileMe and navigating to Find My iPhone can be time consuming. Apple’s free Find My iPhone app eases the burden.

The first Apple app to natively support the iPad, besides iBooks and the iWork apps, the Find My iPhone app keeps track of all iOS devices attached to your MobileMe account and brings the same great features like remote lock and remote wipe to your iOS device.

Find My iPhone on the web has also seen some updates, including a refreshed interface and displaying locations on a full screen map.

Check out the free app from the app store and let us know what you think! Is Find My iPhone the reason why you use MobileMe? Have you ever used the Find My iPhone message and sound notifications to help you find your iPhone under a pile of dirty laundry in your apartment? Or as a way to send free text messages to your spouse’s iOS device?

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  1. LOL .. funny article. Thanks for the update :)

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  2. OK Apple! We know you can make nice apps that are native on both the iPad and the iPhone, so where in the hell is iDisk, Gallery, and Apple Store for iPad?!

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  3. Sam Elowitch Friday, June 18, 2010

    Too bad it doesn’t help you convince the thief to return your gizmo. i guess one could call the cops except that tough to do if you don’t have your phone. Te
    hen again, it’s hard to run the app ar all if the device you run it on has been swiped.

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  4. Hmmm, seems like a good way to keep track of other iPhones and iPads. Straying spouses beware.

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  5. I lol’d at the proto iPhone reference. :-D Great article!

    This seems like more proof that Apple is seriously working on improving MobileMe. First the site update, and now this app. Nice work, Apple. Nice work. Now just a price drop, or a free basic account, and you’ve got plenty of new customers.

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  6. I’ve had the misfortune to have had to use “find my iPhone” a couple of times and it was of no use either time. One time, it led me (and the police) to a large apartment building. (“Now what?”) The second time a crowded beach. (“Okay, now what?”) The third time the person who found it (I dropped it in a taxi and immediately took another in pursuit) turned off the iPhone after the first “find my iPhone” message asking them to return it, even with a reward. The woman had it for all of five minutes and could have made a couple of hundred bucks, still she turned it off and kept it. I have used the “If Found” app that puts your return and reward information right on the splash screen, but that never helped either.

    Where I live unlocked iPhones sell in the stores for about $900 USD. To replace a lost or stolen one legally within an existing contract is about $1200 USD. The iPhone black market is its own industry. So far “find my iPhone” has not been able to do anything except impress some people when I show them and say “Look what my phone can do!”

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  7. I always thought that this was a wonderful thing, until my iPhone was stolen. The first thing the thief did was yank my SIM card. None of these features that I thought would help did, and the carrier (Rogers) was unable to assist by blocking the device or notifying me when it came online with another SIM.

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  8. wow! interesting..
    i can find another ipd/ipad user O_O

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  9. Hey Ryan, great article :D

    “Find My iPhone” is an awesome App, it has some sweet features that have Apple’s proprietary fingerprints all over it. If you want the ability to wipe a phone from a distance you gotta pony up Apple’s $99 annual fee for Mobile Me
    …and depending on what pics you take with your camera, that money might be worth it. ;)

    However, if all you want is the ability to find your phone, I suggest checking out some other really great third party alternatives.

    We built an app called “PleaseFind.it” $4.95 and gives you a lot of the same functionality. If you ever lose or misplace your iPhone all you need to do is log into PleaseFind.it (thats the URL) and the service will show you where it was last spotted.

    It doesn’t have all the proprietary bells and whistles of “Find My iPhone” … but it does the job at a fraction of the cost.

    j’sayn

    Full Disclosure: It is my app and the $4.95 price is part of a 50% “yay we just launched promotion” that goes on for another week, after which time it will go back up to its regular price of $9.95.

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  10. …by the way

    Happy Independence day!

    …perhaps its a good time to declare your independence from MobileMe’s $99 annual fee to find your iphone

    j’sayin it again, cause it had to be said

    ;)

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