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Apple makes Find My iPhone service free for iOS devices

post #1 of 89
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Apple on Monday announced that Find My iPhone (and iPad, and iPod touch) is now free to use without a MobileMe subscription, allowing users to locate their lost iOS device at no extra cost.

The service is free to any iPhone 4, iPad or latest-generation iPod touch running iOS 4.2, which will be released on Monday. The "Find My" functionality is built in to the new mobile operating system update.

Previously, Find My iPhone was only available to iOS users who had a MobileMe subscription for $99 per year. It also required the use of a free application from the App Store.

Users set up MobileMe using the Settings application on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The feature can be accessed in "Mail, Contacts and Calendars."

From there, select "Add Account" and choose "MobileMe." Users must enter their Apple ID and password, which is the same as an iTunes Store account used to download content from iTunes, or applications from the App Store.



Users must then verify their account via e-mail. After the account is verified, returning to the MobileMe screen in Settings will show a switch, allowing users to turn on "Find My iPhone."

After Find My iPhone is set up, it can be tested by signing in to me.com from a computer. From there, users can see the location of their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch on a map. The service also allows the device owner to display a message or set a passcode lock.

Apple has been rumored to make at least some features of MobileMe free for basic users. More evidence of a free tier for MobileMe appeared last week, when an error message referencing "free MobileMe service" was discovered in the iOS 4.2.1 beta issued to developers.

While MobileMe runs $99 a year, since 2008 Apple has offered a free 60-day trial of its service. While Find My iPhone is now free, the remainder of the MobileMe service -- including mail, contacts, calendars and photos -- remains subscription-only.
post #2 of 89
This is wonderful news.
post #3 of 89
Doesn't work for me yet, anyone else have it working?
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post #4 of 89
maybe apple just want to keep tabs on where everyone's at...
post #5 of 89
So I downloaded it, but it's still asking me to sign up for Mobile Me's 60-day trial.
post #6 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

So I downloaded it, but it's still asking me to sign up for Mobile Me's 60-day trial.

I don't think your phone is running iOS 4.2?
post #7 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by O4BlackWRX View Post

Doesn't work for me yet, anyone else have it working?

It requires iOS 4.2.1 ! Why would you expect it to work yet?
post #8 of 89
Ok, this is great and all, BUT... I considered the capability of being able to find my lost or misplaced iPhone the tipping point for paying $99 a year. Now that's it's free, the decision to keep paying Apple the $99 is hanging in the balance... Anyone else feel that way?
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post #9 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfyearsun View Post

I don't think your phone is running iOS 4.2?

I've been running 4.2.1 GM since last week. Maybe just they are just waiting until they version is publically available worldwide.
post #10 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanH View Post

It requires iOS 4.2.1 ! Why would you expect it to work yet?

I have that actually, thanks though, and have been for weeks as I am part of the Apple Developers.
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post #11 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

I've been running 4.2.1 GM since last week.

Okay.

Still, it's probably something that is being rolled out with the general release. I would imagine that there's no cause for alarm unless it continues beyond today.
post #12 of 89
From here:

http://www.apple.com/ios/

Quote:
  1. Not all features are compatible with all devices. For example, multitasking, AirPrint, and VoiceOver are available on iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch (3rd generation and later). AirPlay and Game Center are available on iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch (2nd generation and later).
  2. Multitasking is available with apps that have been developed to work with iOS 4.
  3. You can create a free Find My iPhone account on any iPhone 4, iPad, or iPod touch (4th generation) running iOS 4.2. Once you create an account on a qualifying device, use your Apple ID and password to enable Find My iPhone on your other devices running iOS 4.2. Find My iPhone is not available in all countries.
  4. Game Center works with apps that have been developed to work with the Game Center service.
post #13 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

I've been running 4.2.1 GM since last week. Maybe just they are just waiting until they version is publically available worldwide.

Yep, version 1.1 isn't out yet...
post #14 of 89
I wonder if they will end up changing it from Find My iPhone to Change my iDevice or something more generalized the way they evnetually changed OS X iPhone and iPhone OS to iOS.
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post #15 of 89
Everything is working now on the iPhone & iPad but me.com is down.
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post #16 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I wonder if they will end up changing it from Find My iPhone to Change my iDevice or something more generalized the way they evnetually changed OS X iPhone and iPhone OS to iOS.

Yes it says Find my iPad on the iPad
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post #17 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by fumosus View Post

Ok, this is great and all, BUT... I considered the capability of being able to find my lost or misplaced iPhone the tipping point for paying $99 a year. Now that's it's free, the decision to keep paying Apple the $99 is hanging in the balance... Anyone else feel that way?


I agree. As a loyal buyer of everything Apple since the first launch of OSX I feel a little let down that the company hasn't taken an opportunity to reward it's most loyal 'mobile me' or '.mac ' customer base. I know we get a cool e-mail address and one or two other neat storage features ... but kinda feel that Apple has lost an opportunity (over recent years) to offer greater reasons to sign up to Mobile.me. Apple could have given product discounts or greater incentives to sign up. This latest move to allow a previous 'find my phone' feature to anybody with the latest iphone, touch and iOS2 simply means less people will renew their annual subscribtion.
post #18 of 89
I got it to work on my iPad, but on my iPhone 3GS it says the phone is not eligible for a free MobileMe account.
post #19 of 89
HA! After creating an eligible free MobileMe account on the iPad, I tried again with the iPhone 3GS and now it works Hehehe
post #20 of 89
This is interesting. I would have thought that Find My iPhone would have been the one service they would have coveted to keep users interested in buying MobileMe.

This tells me that the need to make iOS devices more appealing is more pressing to Apple and that simply allowing some MobileMe data syncing simply wasnt going to cut it.

Now I wonder if Apple will best RiM in smartphone unit sales this holiday quarter and how many Android-based devices are being activated each day now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by O4BlackWRX View Post

Yes it says Find my iPad on the iPad

Nice. Thanks.
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post #21 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by fumosus View Post

Ok, this is great and all, BUT... I considered the capability of being able to find my lost or misplaced iPhone the tipping point for paying $99 a year. Now that's it's free, the decision to keep paying Apple the $99 is hanging in the balance... Anyone else feel that way?

Yes, they now need to drop MobileMe to <%50/year or watch people drop MobileMe. I have had it for 4 years or so and I've waited for them to make me feel special .... not yet.
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post #22 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor View Post

Yes, they now need to drop MobileMe to <%50/year or watch people drop MobileMe. I have had it for 4 years or so and I've waited for them to make me feel special .... not yet.

No one should ever expect others to make them feel special. People need to find their self esteem internally, not through the actions of others.

This does MobileMe as a service less necessary, but at $60/year it is surely still worth the expense for what I user it for.
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post #23 of 89
I see that while giving away the Mobile Me Photo Gallery & Find My iPhone/iPad for free there has not been anything added to those of us that have had our subscriptions for years.

So basically we now get less for our subsciption dollars. Some people will have paid the $99 just for the services that are now free. Is $99 a year value for money for web based mail, contacts, calendar & 10GB of online storage?

I dont think so
post #24 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by james99 View Post

I agree. As a loyal buyer of everything Apple since the first launch of OSX I feel a little let down that the company hasn't taken an opportunity to reward it's most loyal 'mobile me' or '.mac ' customer base. I know we get a cool e-mail address and one or two other neat storage features ... but kinda feel that Apple has lost an opportunity (over recent years) to offer greater reasons to sign up to Mobile.me. Apple could have given product discounts or greater incentives to sign up. This latest move to allow a previous 'find my phone' feature to anybody with the latest iphone, touch and iOS2 simply means less people will renew their annual subscribtion.

For my wife and me the ability to sync our calendars and have a cloud based backup solution is worth the $140 annual charge although we'd certainly appreciate if it were free or considerably cheaper.
post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by justfine View Post

For my wife and me the ability to sync our calendars and have a cloud based backup solution is worth the $140 annual charge although we'd certainly appreciate if it were free or considerably cheaper.

Brilliant post.
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post #26 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by justfine View Post

For my wife and me the ability to sync our calendars and have a cloud based backup solution is worth the $140 annual charge although we'd certainly appreciate if it were free or considerably cheaper.

You can sync your calendars to Google for free!
post #27 of 89
Can someone explain to me why--outside of simple greed--Apple is restricting this service to iPhone 4 users only? I can't think of any technical reason why the 3GS would be excluded.
post #28 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apl1019 View Post

Can someone explain to me why--outside of simple greed--Apple is restricting this service to iPhone 4 users only? I can't think of any technical reason why the 3GS would be excluded.

This is your first post -- not a good way to start.
post #29 of 89
What happens when you locate your stolen iphone? Do you confront the thief? lol
post #30 of 89
I think that eventually Mobile Me will be free, but Apple is very wisely rolling out the services one at a time.

Do you remember what it was like when they first launched Mobile Me? It was a disaster. I still remember sitting in an airport somewhere trying to get all my contacts back after some screw up. It took Apple weeks to clean things up.

I've had no complaints since then with Mobile Me, but would be frightened if they decided to add millions of new users with full features all at one time.
post #31 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

This is interesting. I would have thought that Find My iPhone would have been the one service they would have coveted to keep users interested in buying MobileMe.

This tells me that the need to make iOS devices more appealing is more pressing to Apple and that simply allowing some MobileMe data syncing simply wasnt’ going to cut it.
...

Maybe it has to do with capturing unique customers.

The value of iTunes is the millions of accounts, most with credit cards attached. This would give them a big boost in numbers in that it would capture a lot of users that didn't have a credit card attached, but still owned a device. It would also tell Apple a lot, about a lot of users they didn't have info on before.

I agree that it's surprising though. They really do have to increase the value proposition now to stop bleeding of the paid members.
post #32 of 89
Had it right last week that The Beatles were coming to iTunes so I'm hoping that this guess is also right: I think MobileMe will become free soon for everybody. That's maybe what this server-farm is for. Would be a smart next step for Apple in the mobile market.

[Hadn't seen TalkingNewMedia when I wrote this.]
post #33 of 89
For those wanting to save money on Mobile Me

Family Pack for $76.50

Mobile Me Individual for $59.99
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post #34 of 89
for the record the entire MobileMe site is down with maintenace at the moment
post #35 of 89
Works now.
post #36 of 89
I just recently lost my iPhone 4, which changed to stolen the moment someone realized it was active, answered a call to try to locate it, and shut it off immediately.

It's brilliant that law enforcment can get a subpeona and find the phone, on or not, but I can't track my own phone if someone turns it off.

So, in conclusion, find my iphone is a useless function on a hot commodity.

By the way, did anyone know that AT&T now not only offers insurance on the iPhones, but also, as of 9 days ago, is allowing early adopters to add that insurance to their plans?

No, I didn't think so. I learned this while reporting my phone stolen.

$12/month and it has to be initiated from the phone.

God, I LOVE AT&T!
post #37 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Works now.

Really? I'm still getting redirected to apple's maintenance site when i go there
post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

This is interesting. I would have thought that Find My iPhone would have been the one service they would have coveted to keep users interested in buying MobileMe.

This tells me that the need to make iOS devices more appealing is more pressing to Apple and that simply allowing some MobileMe data syncing simply wasnt going to cut it.

Now I wonder if Apple will best RiM in smartphone unit sales this holiday quarter and how many Android-based devices are being activated each day now.

Does that necessarily follow... or does Apple have other Cloud service shoes to drop?


BTW, does Google offer an equivalent service to Find My iPhone -- would you trust them to to be able to find and manipulate your Android device?

.
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post #39 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousg3orge View Post

I see that while giving away the Mobile Me Photo Gallery & Find My iPhone/iPad for free there has not been anything added to those of us that have had our subscriptions for years.

So basically we now get less for our subsciption dollars. Some people will have paid the $99 just for the services that are now free. Is $99 a year value for money for web based mail, contacts, calendar & 10GB of online storage?

I dont think so

If you buy ten apples at the grocery store, then the grocer gives someone else an apple for free, does that mean that you now have only nine apples?
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post #40 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

If you buy ten apples at the grocery store, then the grocer gives someone else an apple for free, does that mean that you now have only nine apples?

That's the inherient selfishness of a Positional Good. He thinks he's getting less service because it's not as "elitist" as it was before he woke up today. Same mentality with those that complain about their nearly new computers being "obsolete" because a new model dropped.
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