Find My iPhone

In a comment to my review of my iPod, I said the iOS 4.2.1 update only offered two incredibly minor improvements to the iPod software. However, another thing they introduced was “Find my iPhone” as a free service. If you lose your iPod, you can log onto an Apple website and it will show you on a map where your iPod is (though it looked like it was at the house on the corner across the street) and also have the iPod make noise and display a message. You can also lock the iPod or erase it completely if it has fallen into enemy hands. But if someone steals it, all they have to do is reset it to factory settings and they have a functioning iPod even though at least they can’t get your personal information. It seems like Apple could set it to completely disable the iPod if it was reported stolen. Though that would mean there would be some overhead in keeping up with when you sell it or if Apple replaces it.

Anyway, the feature doesn’t work as well with an iPod as an iPhone because the iPod isn’t always connected to the internet like an iPhone, but I did a test in my house yesterday and it worked fine, with the iPod making a fairly loud sonar pinging noise and displaying the message “I’m over here, under the sofa!” (which I had told it to display; it wasn’t actually under the sofa).

However it wasn’t easy setting it up. First I had to set up a Mobile Me account and my existing iTunes account password wasn’t good enough for Mobile Me and showed my e-mail address as unverified, but wouldn’t send a verification message. But I changed the password under iTunes and got it working. You also have to set up a screen lock where every time you turn on the iPod you have to enter a 4-digit pin number. One option was to have it ask for the pin after 1 minute which I figured would be better since it would let me at least skip a song without having to log in. That lasted a few times before I decided I didn’t want to have to enter a pin every time and I have disabled that. I don’t know if that disables the Find My iPhone feature as well.

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