Find My iPhone App: Easier Than Finding Myself?

Delving into the capabilities of MobileMe’s Find My iPhone, we explore its effectiveness in tracking and securing your device remotely, including the option to completely erase the device’s data. Here’s a closer look at how these features function in real-world scenarios.

Mapping Your Phone’s Location
Upon accessing the Find My iPhone interface on MobileMe, a map is displayed showing your phone’s approximate whereabouts. In my case, the map pinpointed my phone somewhere within my apartment. The map, powered by Google, allows you to switch between standard, satellite, and hybrid views, although it does not provide an exact address.

If your phone is lost in a large complex, like a shopping mall, you might need to do some footwork to retrieve it.

Message Display and Sound Alert
I tested the feature that allows you to send a message to your iPhone, which could help if someone finds it. Additionally, you can activate a sound alert, which is useful if the phone is nearby but hidden, as was the case when I placed my phone in a laundry basket on the opposite side of my 830 square-foot condo. The sound, resembling a radar ping, was distinctly audible from across my home. I also tested hiding the phone in a bedroom closet, and although the sound was muffled, it became audible once I was closer to the closet.

This feature’s effectiveness will depend on the layout of your space and sound barriers.

Executing a Remote Wipe
For testing purposes, I initiated a remote wipe of my iPhone, which had been backed up recently. Confirming the wipe request led to the phone being erased, turning it into what appeared to be a non-functional device displaying only the Apple logo. On my MobileMe interface, the phone’s icon disappeared, indicating that the wipe was in process. An email confirmation was sent to my account, noting that the wipe could take up to two hours and was irreversible.


Matthew is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing insightful and engaging content to Apple enthusiasts around the world. With a deep love for all things Apple, Matthew covers everything from the latest iPhone and iPad releases to MacBook innovations and Apple Watch updates. His articles are known for their clarity and depth, making complex tech topics accessible to everyone. When he’s not writing, Matthew enjoys exploring new apps and testing out the latest Apple gadgets.