Apple just announced their new iPhone OS 3.0 software will be available this summer as a free update to all iPhone users.
One small but awseome feature has gotten barely a whisper.
MacRumors.com reports: “Find my iPhone/iPod Touch” option available under MobileMe, which presumably allows you to locate your iPhone from Me.com
Let’s speculate on three uses:
I lose my phone all the time. Sometimes I left it at home. Sometimes I left it at the office. Sometimes I left it at the neighborhood bar. So the moment this feature is available I would enable it. The next time I lose my phone I could just log on to me.com and ask it to access my phone’s GPS and tell me on a map exactly where it is.
Parents could force the feature on and track where their kids are without the need for any 3rd party software. All Apple would have to do is lock that option to the rest of the Parental Controls. Sorry kids!
A “Play Music Until Located” which turns the volume on the phone to max and plays a version of “O Where O Where Could My Baby Be” until someone pics it up. They will see a dialogue that says “This iPhone has been lost. Are you the owner?” If the user taps yes then the user will be prompted for the 4 digit pincode for security. If the user taps no then the dialogue will switch to display the programmed contact information of the user with the option to call the “call when lost” phone number but no other options. Apple already does something vaguely similar with enterprise users, but I for one do not need my unit remotely “wiped” so much as returned to me! Going one step further it would be neat if I as the owner could set up a “reward if found” option. When the phone is found the finder is informed of the “reward if found of X dollars in iTunes credit” and is asked to enter their iTunes account email address and then is allowed to call the “call when lost” phone number to arrange return of the phone. If the phone is returned the owner can enter their pin to unlock the phone at which point the “lost if found” credit is automatically transfered to the finder. The process is transparent and everyone wins.