With iOS 6, Apple will be releasing an updated set of web apps on iCloud.com, including Mail, Calendar, Notes, Reminders and Find My iPhone. Find My iPhone is a useful feature that allows you to track or wipe your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch should it get lost or stolen. For more info check out my article on Protecting and Recovering Your iPhone and iPad from Loss and Theft. In this post I just want to point out the changes to Find My iPhone, in particular the new “Lost Mode”.
I’ve been getting a lot of hits for my article on Protecting and Recovering Your iPhone and iPad from Loss and Theft, and the search queries I’m seeing in my logs, together with the visitor comments, have raised a number of recurring questions. I’ve decided to publish this one-stop-shop of answers for all of the different queries that I see people searching for when they arrive. Although my article addresses a number of these, I wanted to put them all in one post for easy reference. I’ll update this post as new questions crop up. Here goes, in no particular order:
Before making the switch from MobileMe to iCloud last week, I was looking around for posts about iCloud’s new webmail and didn’t find any. As I’d just installed the iOS 5 GM on my iPhone, I was eager to get iCloud going as well to get a head start, but wanted to investigate the iCloud services first. I didn’t find any useful posts, but made the switch anyway. Seeing as iCloud will be free to all users now, I thought I’d give you a heads up into what you can expect!
Apple’s popular Find My iPhone feature of MobileMe is being extended to Macs as well, as part of iCloud and Lion (10.7.2). It will also allow the person who found or stole the machine to login using a limited guest account (with only access to Safari), in order to allow your Mac to connect to the internet. As with the iOS version, Find My Mac will allow you to remotely send a message, lock or even wipe your computer.
I’m guessing the geolocation will be limited to triangulating local wireless networks, but I’m hoping it will also send back the public IP address of the network it’s currently connected to, which would help significantly when trying to recover a stolen device. I wonder how developers of commercial Mac tracking software are feeling right about now?
[Update 10/10/2011] Here’s a summary of the new iCloud webmail, contacts, calendar and Find My iPhone.
Ok, so let me put this out there. MobileMe has been kinda broken for some time now (it’s ok Steve knows it). Yes, you can upload stuff to the gallery from iPhoto and your iPhone, and yes you can keep your contacts and calendars in sync across your devices, and you can also track your iPhone/iPad. But all-in-all, as an application it has been nowhere near the quality that you would expect from Apple for a $99 (!) yearly subscription… I would know… I’m a subscriber. I subscribe primarily because I’ve had my mac.com email account since back when it was free, and out of all the webapps, it’s the MobileMe webmail that makes me rage the most. While others like Gmail have ugly interfaces that work, MobileMe has a slick interface that works… about half the time (and the search functionality works when it feels like it).
I’ve been screaming for Apple to sit down and get MobileMe right – maybe they listened to me? Doubt it. This picture shows the new iCloud icon (spotted at the Moscone Center where the WWDC will take place), next to the current MobileMe icon. They’re pretty much identical, with Apple going back to its pro-style brushed-metal look. I’ve been speculating that MobileMe’s cloud-based motifs have been hinting at more developed features, and with the confirmed purchase of icloud.com by Apple, it became pretty clear it may actually happen.
It’s already well known that iCloud will be centered around an online music service, which would give subscribers access to their music from anywhere. How the existing MobileMe features fit in has yet to be determined. There are rumours iCloud will cost $25/year for the core music subscription. For one, I’m praying that Apple will decouple the email service from the rest of the subscription. There are also rumours that an iCloud subscription will be included with purchases of Lion, and this is highly plausible. With Apple pegged to have iAds running on iCloud services, they could stand to reap some significant advertising profits. I also hope they get their security right. A service of this magnitude has so many potential entry points. Time will tell.
The Worldwide Developer Conference is by far the most interesting of Apple’s yearly events, and I suspect Steve has a rabbit or two up his stone-washed jeans.
[Update] The answer to the title of this post is, hopefully, yes! Check out my post about the WWDC 2011 news. While I haven’t yet seen the finished products in the iCloud offering, I’m fairly confident that Steve would not allow a repeat of MobileMe. Seems like Apple did listen to me in the end, and MobileMe services will become free as part of iCloud! ;)
[Update 2] Here’s a summary of the new iCloud webmail, contacts, calendar and Find My iPhone.
My sister recently had her iPhone stolen, and it occurred to me that not enough people know how to help protect their iPhone/iPad from theft, what to do if it gets lost or stolen, and the steps to take even if they’re unable to get it back. Using a combination of security tips and geolocation, using Find My iPhone, you should have a much higher chance of recovering your device. Note that although this article is iPhone/iPad-centric… the principles apply to any smartphone!