July 19, 2010

Phew! "Find My iPhone" actually works when it counts

So here's what happened. On Sunday, my wife and I went to Philly to see a relative in the hospital, and not five minutes after arriving at our destination, my better half discovered with a shock that her precious iPhone 3GS was missing from her pocket—and probably lying on the floor of the cab we'd just departed. Uh oh.

Luckily, I'd recently enabled "push" e-mail on Susan's iPhone, meaning that the "Find My iPhone" feature on MobileMe could track down the missing handset. First, though, I had to install the Find My iPhone app on my iPhone 4—which, surprisingly enough, I managed to do without a hitch despite being on the seventh floor of a large hospital building. (Yes, I use a "Bumper" on my iPhone, hence little in the way of "death grip" problems.)

I fired up the app, and within a few seconds, we could see Susan's phone on a map just a few blocks away. A few taps later, I'd remotely locked her phone and sent a message (accompanied by a loud beep) to the screen: "Lost! Please call 646-xxx-xxxx. Thanks, Ben." I also eyed the "Remote Wipe" button as a last resort, in case whoever found the phone decided to keep it for themselves.

Turns out there was no need to worry, though. A few minutes later, my iPhone rang, and the woman who'd scooped up the wayward handset from the floor of the cab was on the other end—and luckily enough, she was headed to the hospital to see a relative, too. (Well, lucky for us, anyway.) With thirty minutes, my visibly relieved wife was reunited with her 3GS (complete with the snazzy red iSkin case she'd recently bought for it), and all was right in the world.

Still ... yikes.