I Lost My iPhone — But Apple Found It

Find My iPhone - ThumbnailI rarely leave my home without my iPhone. Otherwise, it ruins my whole day. It’s like losing super powers… like Lion-O without the Sword of Omens or like Batman without his utility belt. And yet, it happens. Sometimes I forget where I left my iPhone. Yesterday was one of those days. Just as I was about to leave, a question halted my plans. “Where’s my iPhone?” I checked all the usual spots, but I couldn’t find my iPhone. Fortunately, Apple has an app specifically for finding iPhones.

Is it here? No! Is it there? No! While walking up and down the stairs, I started to wonder if my iPhone was someplace else. Maybe I lost it outside? No, that can’t be right. I was fairly certain that I brought it home. Yet, how could I prove it?

Before Apple’s iPhone tracking app, I used a simple technique to find misplaced phones — just call them! The phone would ring and I could hear it. Yet, that wouldn’t work here. I usually leave the sound off on my phone. The ringer would not ring. That’s when I decided to modernize my search. I loaded up iCloud.

With iOS 5 installed on my phone, I could use this handy feature. The first step was to verify that my phone was actually nearby. Find My iPhone (in iCloud) uses GPS to track the iPhone and then the location is displayed on a map.

iCloud screenshot - iPhone located
iCloud quickly located the approximate position of my iPhone. It was nearby!

Yet, it wasn’t enough to know that my iPhone was close. I suspected that my iPhone was near, but I wasn’t exactly sure where. Fortunately, after my iPhone was located, I had three main options to choose from…

  • Play Sound or Send Message
  • Remote Lock
  • Remote Wipe

Since my phone was safe at home, I didn’t need to lock it or wipe the data. Instead, I simply activated the alert sound. The electronic beeping was reminiscent of a radar system… beep beep beep. At first I didn’t even hear the sound, but as I got closer, I could hear faint beeping. Ah ha, it’s in the laundry! I had left my phone in my pants pocket. If I didn’t find my iPhone in time, it might have ended up in the wash — where it probably would not have survived.

This is a great feature, but I think it can be improved. There should be a fourth option, to see what the iPhone camera sees. Heh, then it would be like the Sword of Omens… with sight beyond sight.