I have had the Find my iPhone App since I got my iPhone. Everyone who has an iPhone should get this App. It is completely free and it can save you if you lose your phone or your phone is stolen. It can also help you to locate loved ones if they have their phone with them.
Downloading the App
The App is free at the App store and downloads quickly and easily. Once you download it, you have to follow the instructions to enable it.
My husband just got a new iPhone so I set his up recently. After I got it downloaded and enabled I checked to make sure it was working by signing in on my phone.
I would suggest making sure that the App works and that you know how to use it, because in an emergency you will not want to have to go read up on how to use it.
Find my iPhone can also locate other Apple devices that can connect to the internet, like your iPad or iPod Touch.
How it Works
If you were to misplace your phone you will need another iPhone or iPad to try to find yours, or you can use a computer by going to http://www.iCloud.com and signing on with your Apple ID and password.
Your lost phone with the app enabled has to be switched on and connected to your network for this to work. For this reason you should never completely power down your iPhone when you are on the go.
Map: Once you are signed in to the website it should call up your device on a map and show you where it is. The map feature is really great also for finding where your loved one is. One time my husband was traveling and I was not sure if he had gotten in ok. I needed to tell him something important and apparently his phone volume was switched off. I was able to call up his phone on the App and saw he was driving away from the airport so I knew he got in ok. I was able to play a tone and alert him to call me.
Our kids are grown but I would think this would also be helpful if you have kids and are wondering where they are. Sometimes it would just give Mom or Dad peace of mind to know where your kids are. Probably not so great for the Teens trying to keep you out of their business but it does seem like it could be a good tool to locate a person as well as a device.
Besides viewing your device’s location on a map you have two other choices of how to interact with your phone.
Play Sound: If your device is just lost in your house or car you might opt to select play a sound which will produce a high pitched sequence of tones that will be heard even if you have the phone volume switched off. it will not work if you have the phone completely powered down.
The sound might also come in handy if you locate the phone on the map and drive to the location. The tone could help you locate your phone once you know you are in range. The sound is not all that loud. You will have to listen for it. This is another reason that I suggest that you try out the app before you need it, so you know what you are listening for.
Besides looking for the phone, this tone can be used to get in touch with a loved one in an emergency. I know I used it once when I needed to get in touch with my husband but his phone’s volume was turned off. The tone alerted him to look at his phone and then he saw my text. The tone will stop once you press the button on the phone.
Lost Mode: Another option you have is to put your phone in lost mode. If you feel that you have lost your phone or you suspect it was stolen this might be the first thing you should do. By putting your phone in lost mode, you can enter a password on icloud.com or while signed in to Find my iPhone from another device.
In order to unlock your phone, whoever finds it would have to put in the password. This can protect your data on the phone. If you do this quickly after loss you can also prevent a thief from disabling the find my iPhone App. It would seem to me that there should be a way to password protect the find my iPhone App but this is not an option.
Erase iPhone: The third option in the find my iPhone App is to completely erase your phone. If you just think you left it in a restaurant I would not suggest erasing your device. This should be saved as a last resort as it is permanent. I would not do this unless I was sure that the phone was permanently lost or stolen.
Final thoughts and rating
The Find my iPhone App gets 4 stars from me. It loses one star mainly for the fact that you can not put a password on the App. It is great and I love it in every other way, but an experienced thief can just go in and delete the app. For that reason I have mine hidden in a folder but you can still find it pretty easily if you are familiar with the settings that allow you to call up and delete apps from settings. Another option would be for Apple to put it on the phone from the factory and once enabled it can not be deleted or altered without a password.