Home Why Apple’s “Find My iPhone” Feature is Useless

Why Apple’s “Find My iPhone” Feature is Useless

Last week, Apple released iOS 4.2 with a surprise addition – the “Find My iPhone” feature. Previously a part of Apple’s MobileMe subscription software, the service is now free and gives users the ability to track their device if it is misplaced or stolen. Beyond tracking, the feature also lets users remotely lock their device and even wipe their data if they determine that it’s in the wrong hands.

Unfortunately, there’s just one problem: Disabling the service is as easy as a push of a button.

To turn on the “Find My iPhone” (or iPad/iPod) feature, all you need to do is install the app on your device and enable it in your settings. Under the “Mail, Contact, Calendars” option, chose “Add Account” and choose “MobileMe” from the list. If you don’t have an Apple user ID and password, it will let you create a new one. Voila, you’re ready to go.

Don’t let this give you a false sense of security, though. If your device isn’t password protected and it’s stolen, turning off the service is just as easily achieved. All the thief needs to do is go to “Settings”, choose the account and set “Find My iPad” to “Off” or tap “Delete Account”.

The obvious solution to this, of course, is to password protect your device, which is found under Settings -> General -> Passcode Lock. But shouldn’t the feature – meant to protect you from thievery – require you to enter a password to disable it? Updating an app requires your iTunes password, so why wouldn’t it be the same for the “Find My iPhone” feature? So much for finding your iPhone, iPad or iPod.

We reached out to Apple for comment, but have not received any response. In the meantime, lock your device, lest you end up like others who thought that “Find My iPhone” would offer them some way to recover their device.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.