I still have a MobileMe account (though I ‘m leaning towards not renewing it) so it occurred to me today that I could test out the new Find My iPhone feature in OS 3.0. It works, and works very well.  Using it is a breeze, via your MobileMe web page (I ‘ll do a little […]
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New Find My iPhone Feature – Works Great, But Not Sure When I’d Use It

Find My iPhone message screen

I still have a MobileMe account (though I ‘m leaning towards not renewing it) so it occurred to me today that I could test out the new Find My iPhone feature in OS 3.0.

It works, and works very well.  Using it is a breeze, via your MobileMe web page (I ‘ll do a little How To shortly) and it does some cool things.  One of them is displaying a message of your choice on the iPhone ‘s screen “ as shown in the screencap above, so if you think it may have been stolen I guess you could send ‘5-0 on the way fool ‘ or similar “ accompanied by an alert sound, which is handy if you ‘ve just misplaced the phone somewhere round your house or office.

It also shows you the phone ‘s precise location using Google Maps, and you can look at standard map, satellite, and hybrid views.

FindMyiPhone

It pegged my phone ‘s location pretty much spot-on straight away.

You can also choose to Remote Wipe the iPhone right from within the MobileMe control panel “ which permanently deletes all media and data and restores the phone to factory settings.  I ‘m not going to test that operation out just now “ but it is obviously a great feature if you ‘re concerned about sensitive / confidential personal or company data on your phone.

So all these things are impressive and nice to see added to the new OS.  But I ‘m really not sure how much I ‘ll make use of them, if at all.  My reason for that is that the Find My iPhone feature requires that Location Services be turned on.  I ‘ve always found Location Services to be one of the very worst culprits for sucking away battery life way too quickly.  I have not tested this out recently, so perhaps I need to give it another go “ but if it ‘s anything like I ‘ve seen in the past, I just don ‘t want that service on except when it is absolutely needed.

Unless I see that Location Services are no longer one of my battery ‘s worst enemies, I just can ‘t see much use for Find My iPhone.  When would I turn Location Services on to make it helpful?  When I feel like ‘Hey, I might lose my iPhone on this trip out ‘?   The usefulness of this feature, it seems to me, is hugely reduced if it is not always on.

What are your thoughts on this one?  Do you get OK battery performance with Location Services on?  Have you tried out Find My iPhone?  Planning to use it once 3.0 comes out next week?

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