Apple's MobileMe Helps Man Recover Stolen iPhone. Already - InformationWeek

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6/23/2009
10:59 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Apple's MobileMe Helps Man Recover Stolen iPhone. Already

During Apple's WWDC keynote address, it was sure to talk up one of MobileMe's new features: Find My iPhone. It lets users track down the whereabouts of a lost or stolen iPhone. Turns out it's not just a fun exercise. It actually helps real people, such as iPhone owner Kevin Miller, get a stolen iPhone back.

During Apple's WWDC keynote address, it was sure to talk up one of MobileMe's new features: Find My iPhone. It lets users track down the whereabouts of a lost or stolen iPhone. Turns out it's not just a fun exercise. It actually helps real people, such as iPhone owner Kevin Miller, get a stolen iPhone back.This story ends happily, but it might not have. Keep that in mind before you or your employees traipse off after stolen goods. Mr. Miller had his iPhone with him at a bar in Chicago Friday night. Halfway home, he realized the phone was no longer with him. He returned to the bar and couldn't find it.

The next day, he used Apple's MobileMe feature to track down his iPhone. It didn't work the first few times he tried it, but eventually it did. Turns out his iPhone was somewhere not too far from the bar he'd been in the previous evening.

Using a computer and the MobileMe software, Mr. Miller sent a slew of text messages to the phone while he and several friends tracked down its exact location. Unbelievably, they were able to coax the thief outdoors and onto the street, where they used the iPhone's GPS and Google Maps to sniff him out.

They were able to get the phone back by asking for it sternly once they cornered the suspect. Lucky for them, the thief wasn't armed and intent in keeping the stolen property.

Mr. Miller reports on the adventure on his own personal blog, and even offers some comments for Apple to improve the service. My favorite reads, "Even though iPhone's alert notification plays whether it's on vibrate or not, it still obeys the ringer volume -- so you can still, regrettably, keep it from playing. Also it's a lighter, daintier sound effect than we'd prefer for locating something by sound. Hell, I'd prefer it if I could take pictures, play my iTunes library, and tase whoever was holding it."

Nice. Success story numero uno for Apple's MobileMe Find My iPhone feature. Hopefully they will all have similarly happy endings.

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