MobileMe Found My Phone

Overview_hero_mobileme_20100622 I signed up for the 60 day free trail of MobileMe about 45 days ago. I wanted to take it for a spin mainly because of the multi-device contact sync feature. I sorely needed the ability to add a new contact on any of my three devices–work computer, home computer and phone–and then have my address book sync in the cloud, automatically updating all my devices without requiring a manual sync via iTunes. Although MobileMe has several other useful features, contact syncing was the only feature I really needed.

When setting up MobileMe, I noticed the Find My Phone feature and went through the process to enable the feature on my iPhone. Fast forward 45 days to last Wednesday, when I was on a work trip to San Francisco and lost my phone somewhere between the plane and the SFO airport exit. Distracted, already late for my meeting and outside the security checkpoint, I realized my phone was gone and it was too late to go back and try to find it. 

Despite being frantic and confused, I remembered that I had set up the MobileMe "find my phone" feature, and I quickly hopped on the airport wi-fi with my computer to log on to my me.com account. Selected the find my phone icon and within seconds–BAM!–there it was.

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It was not a surprise, or particularly helpful, that showed my my phone was in fact still in the airport, but it seemed like a miracle that I could immediately password lock, wipe data and/or send a message to display on the phone. I had bought the phone a month prior and had not password protected it (stupid, I know), so you can imagine what a HUGE relief it was that I could quickly and easily protect access to the sensitive information stored in my email, contacts, notes… you name it.

Findmyphone2

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Beyond the peace of mind that my information and data was safe, during the two days on the hunt to get it back, I was able to check-in and confirm that it had never left the airport. All the while the airline and airport's lost and found said they didn't seem to have it. But I knew it was there! I followed up in email conversations with the airline and airport personel attaching the screenshots above. Without MobileMe I would have given up and accepted it was gone, but I persisted, eventually it was found and now my iPhone is on its way back to me. 

To buy a new iPhone 4 would have cost me $760.00. The MobileMe service is $99/yr. When my 60 day trial is up in the next few weeks, I will fork over the cash to keep my account. It has more than paid for itself.

About Julia Roy

9 Comments

  • And here I thought all this time that MobileMe was just a silly little update Apple pushed that didn’t really do anything! I had no idea that it had this feature, and I am so impressed that it does.
    Glad to hear they ended up finding it!

  • Barry Ralphs says:

    You don’t have to pay $99, just buy this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Apple-MC288Z-MobileMe-Individual-VERSION/dp/B001AMLRU4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=software&qid=1286829104&sr=8-2-spell
    Don’t worry about the “Old Version”, all they do is send you an activation code.

  • The_BORG says:

    “Find My iPhone” was the main reason I bought a MobileMe subscription last year. It’s worth it!

  • Tommy Lane says:

    Great story, Julia. I’ve had MobileMe since it was dotmac when it had less features; mainly for the syncing capabilities. Never looked back. I’m glad it helped you find your iphone. That alone makes it a worthwhile investment.

  • Erica Finley says:

    I knew nothing about MobileMe before reading this post, and I am absolutely in awe at your experience with it. If I ever decide to jump ship from BlackBerry to iPhone, I will definitely consider the service! Thanks for sharing, Julia.
    Erica
    @ericafinley

  • Lise says:

    You don’t have to get Mobile Me, you can just use Prey (www.preyproject.com). It is OpenSource and Free. It not only will find your phone, but your laptop as well. And it can do things like send pics from your webcam of the thief if there is an internet connection. Works for mac and pc…
    Unfortunately I found this two weeks AFTER my laptop was stolen. :(
    PS- Feedly ROCKS! (and great screencast too!) :)

  • You got it back, but where was it? In the airport’s lost and found or did you find it at some other location where it was dropped or left?
    Great post and I really like the screen shots with it. Also, good insights into MobileMe. I’ve not signed up for it … yet.

  • Allie says:

    Hey Julia,
    I think this is a terrific post. My question: are you ever concerned about privacy issues? Forgive me, as I’m not very familiar with MobileMe, but are you the only person who can use it to track your phone’s location(and ultimately, your location)? Or can someone else who has MobileMe (or any other phone), track your phone with it?
    My concern is that I have dealt with stalking before, and it would make me nervous knowing that anyone can find where I am at any time.
    Can you provide a little bit more information?

  • davek says:

    Julia, you have a great web site here. I’m glad I ran across it. I don’t know much about blogging, but I am trying to learn. Your photo’s crack me up. The more I check out how people blog, the better I will get.

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