By Brad Robertson
I’m not sure how you’d react, but when my iPhone was stolen recently, it was a very disconcerting event. Luckily, I had saved all my important data to my CX cloud storage suite, but I was still stressed about not having access to anyone trying to call me, as well as all the beneficial perks that come with carrying a smartphone, such as navigational tools and the ability to quickly access any website I wanted. Thankfully, my story has a happy ending, and it’s all thanks to the Find My iPhone app.
It all started a few weeks ago, when I arrived in San Diego for the MobileCon conference at the San Diego Convention Center. After I valeted my car and was led up to inspect my room, I realized my new and shiny iPhone 5 had disappeared. Fortunately, I had installed the Find My iPhone app on my device already. The free app, which also works for iPad, iPod touch and Mac, has a new Lost Mode that locks your device with a passcode and enables location services, which permitted me to track my phone as it moved, as well as deploy an annoyingly loud alarm sound, even when my phone had been on silent, whenever I wanted for up to 2 minutes at a time.
As soon as my phone was missing, I used my iPad to see the phone was only a few miles away. I reported the phone as lost, which locked the phone, and used the app to create a custom message that asked the thief to call me after I had entered the hotel phone number I could be reached at into the app. I saw that the phone continued to move, since the app gives users breadcrumbs of where the phone has traveled – it appeared as if she was traveling on a road. As she (and my phone) went along their journey, I tried to appeal to the thief’s senses with more custom messages, telling her through the iPhone that I was traveling and needed the phone to be able to contact my children. I offered to turn off the warning noise and give her $100 to get my phone back, but when she replied I wouldn’t be able to get it back until several days later, I knew something had to be done then — so I went back and got my car and started following her, all while cluing her in to my chase along the way (though I’d never recommend to anyone to type while driving.)
During my drive, I received e-mail notifications of my phone’s location from the app. I could have mobilely erased the iPhone from a distance with the app, as well, but the woman eventually relented to meeting me on the street. She got her money, and I got my phone back. Apparently, I had left the phone lying out in the open on my car seat, and she had snatched it.
Maybe it was the loud noise emitted from the phone, maybe it was the fact I was chasing her, or maybe she simply felt some remorse and didn’t mind receiving $100 for giving me back my property, but I’m happy I have my iPhone back in my hands. I’d recommend the Find My iPhone app to anyone with an iOS device, since it’s a great way to encourage people who find (or steal) your gadget to return it if they don’t want to constantly hear a jarring noise. It’s also a helpful tool in case your apparatus is stolen, since the tracking can be shown to police. Since there is no guarantee you’ll get your phone back, though, remember to save all your precious documents in your CX cloud storageaccount, which will help to further alleviate stress in case of a robbery.