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“Find My iPhone” service helps you locate and set off a loud alarm on your iPhone from anywhere in the world for all those times you can’t find it. You can use the service either on a desktop or even from your other iDevices.

Wonder How The “Find My Iphone” Service Helps You Locate Your Device? We Explain How it Works

findmyiphoneapp icon Still with us on our series of  different iOS 5 enhancements and features? Next up in our mini-series is something very important especially if you have the habit of misplacing your iPhone or worse losing it. This feature which was also rolled out together with iOS 5 is called  “Find My IPhone” service.

Simply put, “Find My iPhone” service helps you locate and set off a loud alarm on your iPhone from anywhere in the world for all those times you can’t find it. You can use the service either on a desktop or even from your other iDevices.

 

How to Get “Find My iPhone”

To use this very useful feature, you can either set it up right after setting up a brand-new iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch or turn it on via the usual “settings” menu. If you’re using an old iDevice, you must ensure that you have updated to iOS 5.

Activating “Find My iPhone” From iDevice Setup

When setting up a new iPhone or updating a current unit to iOS 5, you will be prompted by the new iOS 5 setup process, whether you want to activate “Find My iPhone” or not. This comes in right after you’ve chosen to use iCloud and have logged in using your Apple ID. Activating iCloud is a required step in using the location feature of “Find My iPhone.”

The next step is the actual setting up of “Find My iPhone.” All you need to do is to reply to the prompt asking if you want to sign up for the service. Here you can tap on the “use Find My iPhone” option to activate it on your device.

How to Use the “Find My iPhone” Web Interface?

Screenshots of iCloud's Find My iPhone

Since you’ve already set up your Apple ID to use iCloud, you need to log in to http://icloud.com. Once inside iCloud, simply choose the “Find My iPhone” icon which denoted by the green radar. You will then be presented with a map interface containing a box on the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

This box has the list of your Apple devices which can be located by the service. Select any of the device the “Find My iPhone” will try to locate it and pinpoint its exact location on a map. If found, simply tap the “blue i” icon to bring up various options associated with the service.

 

Screenshots of Find My iPhone - iCloud web interface

 

You can choose to play a loud sound or send a message to your missing device. Clicking on this option will bring out another pop-up box that lets you choose any of the two options. If you opt to send a sound to your iPhone, it won’t turn off unless you’ve found it and unlock it from the home screen. If you are certain that you won’t be able to locate your iPhone within the vicinity, you can opt to send a message instead.

This is helpful if you think you’ve lost your iPhone at some other location. You can enter a personal message asking whoever gets hold of your iPhone to contact you using the whereabouts that you include in the message.

Screenshots of Find My iPhone - Send Message

Remote Wipe and Remote Lock Your iPhone

The other two options below are labeled – “remote lock” and “remote wipe.” These are security features of the “Find My iPhone service” that you can use to set a numerical password that will prevent others from using your iPhone or remotely wipe your iPhone of your personal data, information, and media. These features help ensure that your private information stays safe.

 

Screenshots of Find My iPhone - Remote Lock and Remote Wipe

Take note, “Find My iPhone” is not limited to locating your lost iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch but your MacBooks as well.

Using the “Find My iPhone” App

Screenshots of FindMyiPhone app

So far, we’ve discussed only using the “Find My iPhone” service in locating your devices using a computer. So what happens if you can’t get hold of a computer right away? It would be great if you have other iDevices or you can borrow from somebody else. The “Find My iPhone” app is a pretty useful tool. All you need to do is to install the app and use it to locate your missing devices.

Screenshots of FindMyiPhone app - map view

The “Find My iPhone” app works similarly with the iCloud interface of the service. And it basically does the three options that we’ve discussed above – send a sound or text message to your device, remotely wipe data and remotely lock your device.

Screenshots of FindMyiPhone app - message

Things To Remember

“Find My iPhone” works only if your devices are connected to the Internet. Meaning it can locate your missing devices only if its online either via WiFi or a 3G connection. Hope that your device won’t run out of battery or the person who found it does not reset the device to factory setting and register it using another account.

Final Words About “Find My iPhone”

Interestingly, not many users like this feature. Although there are as much number of users who appreciate its usefulness as well. Truth be told, this is one of the first features that I’ve appreciated from iOS 5. It’s a “free” service that can really save you the trouble and money.

Get the Find My IPhone app today from the iTunes App Store.

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  • Kwjordy

    I’m in Mexico and my Iphone was stolen.  I had it send me an email when located, and it did that and locked the phone.  However, the email did not tell me the location of the phone.  Since I only had Wi-Fi service in Mexico, the phone had to be logged into the internet whenever I found Wi-Fi away from home.  So my question is, if the phone is merely in a Wi-Fi zone, does it have to be logged in for Find My Phone to work, or will it use any internet connect if finds?  Thanks for any help.