updated 03:35 pm EDT, Mon June 22, 2009
Find My iPhone in real use
Apple's Find My iPhone feature, which locates missing devices through iPhone 3.0 and a MobileMe subscription, has received what may have been its first practical test. Blogger Kevin Miller notes that while in Chicago for a Lego convention, an iPhone of his disappeared after visiting a bar. Unable to find it at the bar, Miller turned to a friend's MacBook Pro, which could access MobileMe using a 3G USB modem.
While efforts were unsuccessful at first, a location for the phone was eventually narrowed down to a Puerto Rican neighborhood on Medill Street, while Miller continued sending messages asking for the finder to call a number and claim a reward. Miller and his friends eventually traveled to Medill, and sent a new message, claiming that they already knew where to find the phone. The group patrolled the block, and finally managed to flush the phone into movement by sending a Spanish message threatening to call the police.
Following Mobile Me's location circle, the group managed to track the thief down to a bus stop, and successfully ask for the phone back without incident. The battery on the phone is claimed to have died moments afterward, having been called and messaged repeatedly overnight.
Although happy with the end result, Miller complains that a missing iPhone should be able to push location data to users, and that its location alert sound should ignore volume settings. It is also said to be inconvenient that one iPhone cannot be used to find another, due to problems accessing me.com in the mobile version of Safari.