Find My iPhone Becomes Free Service

Find my iPhone is a feature of Apple MobileMe service. MobileMe is a $99 per year subscription service that provides syncing of your calendars, contacts, & bookmarks across your computers and iOS devices, along with an email account, iDisk server storage, photo galleries, and Find my Iphone (or iPod touch or iPad). When Find my iPhone was added as a feature of MobileMe, I thought (and still think) it is a great part of the service.

Say your iPhone slips out of your pocket while you’re sitting at a coffee shop. You leave, and a while later, you reach for your iPhone and have a near heart attack. Never fear, you can hop onto or the Find my iPhone app from another device (say, your spouse’s or your friend’s) and locate your iPhone on a map. From there, you can passcode lock the screen, send a custom message with an alert sound that overrides the volume or mute switch, or, in extreme circumstances, remote wipe the device. This works for iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads.

(It should be noted that if you wipe the device, you won’t be able to track it again. Wiping resets everything to factory condition).

Well, today Apple updated the Find my iPhone app and is allowing any iPhone 4, 4th-Generation iPod touch, or iPad to use that portion of MobileMe for free. Download the app to sign up for an account.

There is a little trick here if you have an older device. Just register your Apple ID on someone else’s current generation device, then delete your info from their device. Once you have registered on a supported device, you can then activate Find my iPhone on any of your older devices.

I’d really like to see Apple open this up for all of their iOS device users, but I understand their desire to encourage folks toward newer devices. Apple is a business, after all.

I recommend that everyone take advantage of the Find my iPhone program. It could save you a lot of panic and headache if you were to ever lose your device.