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iPhone 3.0 to offer MobileMe users "Find My iPhone" feature

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
A new feature in the iPhone 3.0 firmware appears to let users remotely pinpoint a lost or stolen phone by securely requesting the device's location via Apple's MobileMe service.

The setting appears under the MobileMe settings page, where push updates for mail, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks are configured. Below these settings is a simple control to activate "Find My iPhone."

When activated, the phone opens an alert that says, "this enables the "Find my iPhone" service on your MobileMe account at me.com." It would appear that the service obtains the iPhone's location and makes it available to the MobileMe user on request if the unit is lost or stolen.

The rationale for linking the feature into MobileMe is evidently the same as that behind Apple's Back to My Mac feature: security. By only allowing the linked MobileMe account to obtain a location remotely, using GPS or WiFi/cell tower triangulation, users don't have to worry about an outside party being able to track their location.

MobileMe supports setting up secure IPSec tunnels between remote clients over the Internet, acting as a catalyst by tracking the locations of MobileMe-registered systems and securely publishing their location to other MobileMe-registered devices using Wide Area Bonjour.



In this case, the iPhone would simply give its registered MobileMe user the option of remotely requesting its location. The settings to support the new feature are not yet visible on the MobileMe website, as the iPhone 3.0 firmware is currently still in developer release and won't ship until this summer.
post #2 of 63
Does this mean I can track ANY iPhone attached to my Mobile me account. Such as family members phones?

Such as, my daughter is supposed to be at school but someone called and said she was at the mall or at someone's house she isn't supposed to be at. Would I be able to find out where she is at?

This could also be good in emergencies.
post #3 of 63
When are Apple going to buy Cappuccino/Atlas? To add it to Mobile me, via iWeb online / iWork online. Clearly it's heading this direction, I hope behind the scenes they are working like dogs on this. Though Objective-J is clearly the key here, with possibly some Sproutcore action too (which they already bought).
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #4 of 63
Now - Apple - please: Your MobileMe is just great. Can't you put some effort into packing a business solution based on this? Then I would not need the rather crappy included mail from our ISP. We could share calendars, remote wipe iPhones, find lost ones and make colaboration services from out XServe available outside our company LAN.

For example.

That would be a good move in competition with Google and MSN offering universitys to handle mail for all students. Many companies goes cloud - and MobileMe has all the basics - and more. Just need a company packing. We would be there!
post #5 of 63
Useful yes, scary as hell too. Of course there's the whole " If you're not doing anything wrong, there's nothing to fear" argument... some people just don't care too much for tracking others or being tracked outside of 911 emergency situations.
post #6 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

When are Apple going to buy Cappuccino/Atlas? To add it to Mobile me, via iWeb online / iWork online. Clearly it's heading this direction, I hope behind the scenes they are working like dogs on this. Though Objective-J is clearly the key here, with possibly some Sproutcore action too (which they already bought).

I'm not sure what that has to do with the feature mentioned in the article, but I agree that a web-based suite of iWork apps as part of MobileMe would rock!
post #7 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post

Useful yes, scary as hell too. Of course there's the whole " If you're not doing anything wrong, there's nothing to fear" argument... some people just don't care too much for tracking others or being tracked outside of 911 emergency situations.

If you don't want it, turn it off. I personally hope they make it able to track other members of your MobileMe account (with a different colored flashing dot in the Maps app would be nice and simple).
post #8 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

I'm not sure what that has to do with the feature mentioned in the article, but I agree that a web-based suite of iWork apps as part of MobileMe would rock!

It has to do with Apple adding features to Mobile me, which is why I thought it more than apt to mention. While they are adding these small little features they could be adding bigger ones. Handy feature, I suppose. For myself though, I'd much prefer remote-wipe. I'd MUCH rather lose my phone and not get it back than anyone getting access to my data.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by tumme-totte View Post

Now - Apple - please: Your MobileMe is just great. Can't you put some effort into packing a business solution based on this? Then I would not need the rather crappy included mail from our ISP. We could share calendars, remote wipe iPhones, find lost ones and make colaboration services from out XServe available outside our company LAN.

For example.

That would be a good move in competition with Google and MSN offering universitys to handle mail for all students. Many companies goes cloud - and MobileMe has all the basics - and more. Just need a company packing. We would be there!

If they bundled a MobileMe style Web app with Snow Leopard server their server sales would increase 100X.

I would love to have MobileMe features available to everyone on my domain.
post #10 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It has to do with Apple adding features to Mobile me, which is why I thought it more than apt to mention. While they are adding these small little features they could be adding bigger ones. Handy feature, I suppose. For myself though, I'd much prefer remote-wipe. I'd MUCH rather lose my phone and not get it back than anyone getting access to my data.

BINGO! Give these "enterprise" level features to the little guy.
Makes sense.
post #11 of 63
if only it can find it in my apartment. then i wouldn't have to listen to my gf complain to herself while she looks for it.


PS, i know you can call it. but if it is set to sound off, it becomes a bit of a problem.
post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

BINGO! Give these "enterprise" level features to the little guy.
Makes sense.

Unsure if you're being supportive or sarcastic.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #13 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peruchito View Post

if only it can find it in my apartment. then i wouldn't have to listen to my gf complain to herself while she looks for it.


PS, i know you can call it. but if it is set to sound off, it becomes a bit of a problem.

Age old problem. The best solution is to have "a place for it". Always put in its this place, that when you it's gone you know where it is.

Sounds too obvious? It is. It's the only solution. Find a place and get into the habit of leaving it there.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peruchito View Post

if only it can find it in my apartment. then i wouldn't have to listen to my gf complain to herself while she looks for it.

That's funny. So you have your gf look for your phone when you lose it, and she complains the whole time.... oh, the joy!
post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

It has to do with Apple adding features to Mobile me, which is why I thought it more than apt to mention. While they are adding these small little features they could be adding bigger ones. Handy feature, I suppose. For myself though, I'd much prefer remote-wipe. I'd MUCH rather lose my phone and not get it back than anyone getting access to my data.

so you're saying they could do this faster if they bought that interface builder app you referenced?

Seems a little out-there to me.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Unsure if you're being supportive or sarcastic.

No I'm totally serious.
It fits with Apple's "Exchange for the rest of us" theme during the initial MobileMe roll out.
post #17 of 63
Your phone can already be tracked. This feature adds nothing new to that situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post

Useful yes, scary as hell too. Of course there's the whole " If you're not doing anything wrong, there's nothing to fear" argument... some people just don't care too much for tracking others or being tracked outside of 911 emergency situations.
post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post

Useful yes, scary as hell too. Of course there's the whole " If you're not doing anything wrong, there's nothing to fear" argument... some people just don't care too much for tracking others or being tracked outside of 911 emergency situations.

If the feature scares you, then that assumes that something out there tracks you secretly even if you don't turn the feature on.

In which case, you should also be scared of ANY communication device with a GPS, since it could have a hidden tracking feature instead of a visible one with an on/off.

In which case, you should be scared of ANY electrical device, because it could have a secret GPS built into some chip.



The first two, of course, could happen accidentally rather than on purpose--they're just software
post #19 of 63
The only problem with this is that if someone steals your iPhone, they just have to turn this feature off... right? Even if it's password protected, couldn't they just restore the iPhone and then turn it off?

If this is the case, it seems to me that this would only be helpful for a lost iPhone... unless whoever steals it doesn't know about this feature.
post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

so you're saying they could do this faster if they bought that interface builder app you referenced?

Seems a little out-there to me.

Well they bought SproutCore, and that's why Mobile me exists as it does today. It's not out-there at all. It's in-there.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by themoonisdown09 View Post

The only problem with this is that if someone steals your iPhone, they just have to turn this feature off... right? Even if it's password protected, couldn't they just restore the iPhone and then turn it off?

If this is the case, it seems to me that this would only be helpful for a lost iPhone... unless whoever steals it doesn't know about this feature.

Don't underestimate the stupidity of a thief. People have recovered lost laptops because thieves were too dumb (ignorant) to turn off certain features.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #22 of 63
This would be great for parental controls. and devious spying on the whereabouts of your child
post #23 of 63
Sounds useful if you have a wandering teen, or an oldster who wanders and forgets where they are and who doesn't answer the cell phone when it rings (I know a person who had a loved one in this latter situation).

Several phone companies offer such a service (Disney used to, and I think it's Verizon who offers it under the name "Concierge"). It can be useful. And it currently costs a bunch more than MobileMe.
post #24 of 63
iPhone for kids and families. Who says this is scary? It's limited to the MobileMe account owner, such as someone who "owns" the family pack.

Awesome, again, Apple. Keep going. How about Bonjour printing for mobile sales execs and the like?
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Don't underestimate the stupidity of a thief. People have recovered lost laptops because thieves were too dumb (ignorant) to turn off certain features.

Thieves have been dumb enough to use stolen phones and laptops completely unchanged. There are plenty of stories about it. One person recovered their SideKick because the thief started taking pictures of herself with it. SideKicks send their info up to the "cloud" so that it's all available from a web browser. Someone else got tracked by using the built-in iSight of a laptop. Besides, the thief wold have to turn it off immediately upon stealing it. Even if they just ran away with it and got back to their place before messing with it it would already be too late for them.
post #26 of 63
This would be way useful if I could go to me.com and it would say something like, "it's under the middle couch cushion" or, "you left it in your car, idiot." Otherwise, this doesn't do a whole lot for me.
post #27 of 63
I'm sure this technology is possible without the magic of "MobileMe". Can anybody think of a reason why this isn't a system setting? Just like sharing your location with installed applications?

I can. Lump this in with MobileMe and it's another reason to buy the overpriced service. I'm sure Apple will shoot down any App that provides this feature on its own.
post #28 of 63
Cell phone companies have always been able to track the location of you cell phone. It is necessary to do this to receive calls, and pay roaming charges. The US Government claiming that this info isn't secret and should be obtainable without a warrant might be "scary as hell", but you having access to the location of your own phone seems kind of obvious.
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by lepton View Post

Sounds useful if you have a wandering teen, or an oldster who wanders and forgets where they are and who doesn't answer the cell phone when it rings (I know a person who had a loved one in this latter situation).

So do I. It was a long time ago. His dad had Alzheimers but was a keen hiker. When he started to wander they extended the time they could let him go. They bought a (very expensive!) cellphone with a GPS built in, and subscribed to a map service of sorts. At the time the map service was used by trucking companies to track their trucks. This was in 1995! They just placed the phone in a small back pack. Every day at about lunch time my friend went online to track his dad. He lived in a different country than his parents but could see where his dad walked, street by street. If he saw his dad take a different route, or get on a bus (he often did) he would call his mother who would go and pick up his dad. In 95 that was truly impressive. I remember watching him call his mum saying - OK, he is on the left side of the road, probably taking a rest cause he is not moving and his Mum calling back a few minutes later saying Yup, I got him.
post #30 of 63
Great for Rihanna to keep track of Chris Brown.
or Hill for Bill.
post #31 of 63
So, before yesterday, I had the feeling that Apple's iPhone OS 3.0 would exactly include everything they've mentioned.

But, I'm sure they still have tons of tricks awaiting for the rest of the world.

Especially if they used this multi-core processor.

Consider, that according to new OS 3.0, you could do video audio streaming, which coincidentally, next Mac OS Snow Leopard, might include Quick Time Pro in it, therefore, new hardware (not yet announced) might include iChat AV Mobile, letting people use iChat AV on the go. Which I believe would kick ass, only bottle neck would be AT&T's 3G bandwidth.

With new iPhone Server push notification, I'm positive that Apple would have iWork.com ready by summer.

Why is this important, because they could include iWork for iPhone with additional iWork.com functionality. You'll be able to do work on the phone, now that has Landscape.

And why iWork.com is important because it'll allow people who are still using Windows able to access, cooperate, and share documents.

Apple mentioned Voice Recorder, probably would enhance it, and include a Video Recorder, of course, new hardware would be required, and would probably do a MPEG4 DVD quality encoding, and would able to upload back to your mac via Push Notification (protocol or MobileMe) and once you're back to your Mac, it'll be ready for iMovie '09.

I'm seeing that a year or two from now, Apple's iPhone eco-system would be fantastic.

iLife, iWork, for iPhone. Of course, these softwares might have a premium, not much but consider Apple has sold 13.7M phones, and charging like 49.99 for both iLife & iWork for iPhone, that's USD 685M income.

And consider if people like the MobileMe that's additional recurring income every year.
post #32 of 63
Navizon has a locate by SMS feature for the jailbreak version in Cydia. Pretty similar to this.
post #33 of 63
Ok, so where is this feature for their MacBooks? Hell, Apple won't even track stolen serial numbers to see if they get serviced. I had my MacBook stolen last year and it would be nice to be able to at least grab the IP address of the dickhead who is using it.
The Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.
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The Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.
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post #34 of 63
Why is no one is theorising about what will be on the mobileme.com side of this
relationship?

How about a function that pushes a noise-making command to your phone,
which it will obey, even if its sound switch or sound settings are off?

How about a function that allows you to push a reset/wipe command to the
phone? Or a kill-all-functions-until-I-reactivate function, making it useless
and un-sellable to the thief.

Or how about a self-destruct command that will blow the thing up?

Lots of possibilities here . . .
Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
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Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
-Horacio Verbitsky (el perro), journalist (b. 1942)
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post #35 of 63
Uh, oh!
Watch a thief try to sue Apple for privacy saying the iPhone did not give him the option to Allow the Location Services to be turned on!
post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgbfoundry View Post

I'm sure this technology is possible without the magic of "MobileMe". Can anybody think of a reason why this isn't a system setting? Just like sharing your location with installed applications?

I can. Lump this in with MobileMe and it's another reason to buy the overpriced service. I'm sure Apple will shoot down any App that provides this feature on its own.

To be fair EVERY technology is possible without the "magic" of the marketing vehicle. Considering Computrace and other comparable "lojack" tools are $50 annually for relatively one trick ponies I think Apple is smart to tie in recovery services into MobileMe.

Eventually with enough features the "MobileMe is overpriced" boobirds will have to stick a sock in it. Apple should shoot down any app that attempts to duplicate this feature for security reasons. I don't want some Yahoo dealing with my info. Apple's a big easy target should they do something unlawful.
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post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

No I'm totally serious.
It fits with Apple's "Exchange for the rest of us" theme during the initial MobileMe roll out.

I agree. The march of technology demands that unaffordable high-level features that used to only be available to the techno-elite and multi-billion dollar corporations eventually be made affordable for all... with Apple's help of course.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I agree. The march of technology demands that unaffordable high-level features that used to only be available to the techno-elite and multi-billion dollar corporations eventually be made affordable for all... with Apple's help of course.

I was already sold on MobileMe but this is just another nugget of goodness. I can see this placating the fears that happen with mobile devices

"OMG did I leave my iPhone at that hotel ...nope it's here in the home somewhere"
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post #39 of 63
Why can't Apple/ATT come up with a 'remote-wipe' feature for stolen phones? I am more concerned about all the personal data -- contacts, calendar, notes, websites where I bypass sign-ins, sms, photos, emails -- that someone can access.
post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new feature in the iPhone 3.0 firmware appears to let users remotely pinpoint a lost or stolen phone by securely requesting the device's location via Apple's MobileMe service.

What about the reverse? You learn that your Back-to-my-Mac enabled Mac computer is stolen and, using the iPhone in your pocket, you activate a special app (or service?) to locate the Mac when it shows up on the Internet. This can be done now, in a way, or you could use UnderCover, but building this into the MobileMe system would be a fantastic selling point!
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