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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Find My iPhone: 5 Real-Use Cases - Thieves Beware



Now that Find my iPhone is free for users with iOS 4.2, why there is little reason not to sign up. The service allows you to locate your device, send it messages, lock it or totally wipe the memory if it happens to get lost or stolen. It's much like HTC's service.

There have been quite a few stories in the past of people finding their devices by using Find my iPad or Find my iPhone. Let's have a look at some of those fortunate individuals who have been able to track down their devices and been spared the hassle of having to buy a new handset or iPad:

Games - Go to Jail

1) Justice Served

About a year ago 15-year-old Dustin Simantob of Colorado was able to recover he and his father's iPhones using the service. On top of that, the police were able to capture the criminals that did it. Apparently, they had been trying for some time, but until then didn't have enough on them to make an arrest.

“so, my dad and I went on a 3 day father and son river trip and parked the car where we get out of the river to leave, so we get up to the cars and all 4 cars had one window broken and all the valuables taken from the car, so we ended up submitting our case to the near by cop and started on our 5 hour journey home, when we got back i remembered that i had set up the “track my iphone” on the mobileme site and immediately got on and tracked it.

it ended up being at a house near by where it was stolen, so i called up the cop that had taken our case and told him where it was located. as soon as i told him the address, he started to laugh, apparently the family had done a few things like this before and the local police had been trying to catch and arrest them but could never get proof that they had been the culprits.

now they had proof. so 4 police showed up at the door of this house and ended up getting mine and my dads iphones back along with my wallet and the Garmen GPS, they also were able to recover the two phones and wallet that was taken from the other car that was broken into. so thanks to mobileme we will all be getting our belongings back and a family of criminals will be put in jail.”



2) Stop my if you've heard this one: someone loses an iPhone in a bar...

A fellow named Kevin and two of his buddies went to a Lego convention. At the end of the day, they hit up a dive bar to grab a bite to eat. Then it happened, he left his iPhone on the table and had forgotten about it when he left. On his way out, he remembered that he had left the handset on the table and returned to the bar to pick it up. Unfortunately, it was nowhere to be found.

Luckily, he had recently activated his MobileMe account along with Find My iPhone. They began the search, and at first it seemed hopeless. The next day, they were led around town by the tracking service and they eventually found it at a bus stop. One of the bar's employees had found it and said he was planning to return it. Of course that's what he said when caught with it.



Image Credit: She

3) Mom busts the bad guys

This one happened when a Mom was at the store. She placed the phone down while being attending to her kids, and totally forgot about it, leaving the handset on a store counter.

She and her husband decided to track their iPhone using the service. The were able to pinpoint it down to an apartment complex and called the police. They found the culprit and said that if the thief agreed to give up the handset within five minutes, no charges would be pressed. Needless to say, she got her phone back.

Furthermore, the officer said that he had already found five phones in the exact same manner. In fact, he said that Apple works closely with law enforcement to improve the GPS abilities on the device.


4) Getting even

In Shadyside, a man was attacked by two robbers. They stole his phone and his wallet, asking for his pin number. After a game of cat and mouse, he and the authorities were able to track the thieves, three men with all the stolen property. They were all charged for the crimes, with the two assailants receiving additional charges for the robbery.


5) Amusement Park Idiot

A mom and her daughter were vacationing at a Busch Gardens amusement park. Before boarding one of the roller coasters, they put their belongings in a storage bin meant to safely store items while attendees ride. Unfortunately, someone decided he would run for the woman's purse while no one was watching.

The daughter bumped herself cutting her lip open on the ride. The injury was nothing serious, but in the confusion, someone swooped in and grabbed Mom's purse. The purse was found in the men's restroom, but their phones were gone.

Then, the daughter remembered her MobileMe account. She had the Find My iPhone service activated. Authorities were able to locate the phone, and the culprit and the dirtbag was put in jail.



Thieves Watch Out

Now that everyone on iOS 4.2 can use the Find My iPhone service (even with an older iOS device, if you use a workaround) everyone can locate their lost iOS device. We suggest signing up. After all, it's free.

Isn't technology wonderful?