Apple's device tracking, locking and wiping tool Find My iPhone is available for free with the iOS 4.2. By default it only works on the iPhone 4, fourth generation iPod touch and iPad. Here's how to get free access from any device.
What Is Find My iPhone?
First, as a refresher, Find My iPhone is a tracking app that runs on your iOS device and tracks its location. If you lose your device, you can log into MobileMe, see the device on a map and optionally display a message on your device ("Hey, did you find my lost iPhone? Call me at..."), play a sound (handy if you just left it in the couch cushion), lock the device with a four-digit PIN, or completely wipe your device so no one can access your sensitive data.
It's now available for free on any of the latest generation of iOS devices. If you've got an older device, however, you're not out of luck. As readers quickly discovered, all you need to get free Find My iPhone access from pre-2010 devices is access to one of the supported devices. From Apple (footnote 3):
You can create a free Find My iPhone account on any iPhone 4, iPad, or iPod touch (4th generation) running iOS 4.2. Once you create an account on a qualifying device, use your Apple ID and password to enable Find My iPhone on your other devices running iOS 4.2.
The TiPb blog confirms. So if you want to get Find My iPhone running on your pre-2010 iOS device, here's how it works:
Download Find My iPhone on a 2010 iOS Device and Register
- Launch the App Store and download Find My iPhone.
- While it's downloading, jump over to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > and add a MobileMe account. Log into MobileMe using your Apple ID and password, and when it's connected, turn on Find My iPhone.
- Now launch the Find My iPhone app, again log in with your Apple ID, and you should be set up.
Repeat Those Steps on Your Pre-2010 iOS Device
Once you've activated Find My iPhone on a newer iOS device, just repeat the steps above on a pre-2010 iOS device and it should work like a charm. I tested the process by turning on Find My iPhone on an iPad, then enabling it on an iPhone 3G.
To verify that everything's working, just point your browser to Find My iPhone and make sure both devices are in your device list.
It Continues to Work Even After You Kill the Connection on the New Device
Since some of you may be using someone else's latest generation iOS device to gain access to Find My iPhone, I then deleted my MobileMe account from the iPad and verified that my iPhone 3G continued to work with Find My iPhone.
So if you are borrowing someone else's iOS device to activate Find My iPhone on your older device, you should be able to safely delete your MobileMe account from their device but continue using Find My iPhone on yours. That means you can always log into MobileMe and the Find My iPhone dashboard, track your phone, display a message or play a sound, lock the phone with a PIN, or remotely wipe it, all for free. Handy.