Find My iPhone

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Find My iPhone
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Initial release June 15, 2010 (2010-06-15)
Stable release 4.0[1] / September 17, 2014; 16 months ago (2014-09-17)[1]
Preview release iOS 9.2
Development status Active
Written in Swift
Operating system iOS 8 and later
Platform OS X, iOS, web
Size 5.9 MB
Available in English
Type Location aware mobile application
License Freeware

Find My iPhone (also known as Find iPhone on the SpringBoard, and also known specifically for other devices as Find My iPad, Find My iPod, or Find My Mac) is an app and service provided by Apple Inc. that allows remote location-tracking of iOS devices and Mac computers. As of March 2013, the service is currently available for iOS 5 or later and OS X 10.7.5 "Lion" or later through iCloud. As of the release of iOS 9, the app is now bundled with the operating system. If a user is running iOS 8, the app is available for download from the App Store free of charge.[1]


Find My iPhone was first released as an app in June 2010 for users of MobileMe. In November 2010 with iOS 4.2, Find My iPhone was available for free for such devices.[2][3] With the release of iCloud in October 2011, the service became free for all iCloud users. Also, the service was made available as "Find My Mac"[4] for Mac computers running OS X 10.7.2 "Lion" or later using iCloud.

Version history[edit]

Version Number Date released Changes

June 15, 2010 (2010-06-15)

  • Initial release

September 7, 2010 (2010-09-07)

  • Support for iPod Touch 4th generation
  • Translation and bug fixes

November 22, 2010 (2010-11-22)

  • Released for free for supported devices running iOS 4.2
  • New languages are supported

June 6, 2011 (2011-06-06)

  • If device was offline when the user attempt to locate it, an email will be sent when it comes online and is located.[5]
  • Ability to remove a device that is offline[5]

August 8, 2011 (2011-08-08)

  • Stability improvements

October 12, 2011 (2011-10-12)

  • iCloud support
  • Find My MacBook
  • Ability to request an email when a device is located that was previously offline

March 7, 2012 (2012-03-07)


September 19, 2012 (2012-09-19)

  • Lost Mode for iOS 6 or later[6][7][8]
  • Battery charge indicator[6]
  • Forever login for iOS 6 or later[6]

December 11, 2012 (2012-12-11)

  • Driving directions to the device's location for iOS 6 or later[9]
  • Several buttons ("Play Sound", "Lost Mode", and "Erase Device") were moved to a separate screen from the map view

March 21, 2013 (2013-03-21)

  • Bug fixes and stability improvements

August 22, 2013 (2013-08-22)

  • Bug fixes and stability improvements

October 22, 2013 (2013-10-22)

  • New design for iOS 7 devices

September 17, 2014 (2014-09-17)


Find My iPhone allows users to locate their iOS devices using either the iOS app or on a computer. In addition to locating a device, the service provides three key features:

  • Play Sound – Makes the device play a sound at maximum volume, makes flashing on screen even if it is muted. This feature is useful if the device has been mislaid.[10]
  • Lost Mode (iOS 6 or later) – Flags the device as lost or stolen, allowing the user to lock it with a passcode. If the device is an iPhone and someone finds the device, they can call the user directly on the device.[6][7][8]
  • Erase iPhone – Completely erases all content and settings. This is useful if the device contains sensitive information, but the device cannot be located after this action is performed. Starting with iOS 7 or later, after the erase is complete, the message can still be displayed and the device will be activation locked. This makes it hard for someone to use or sell the device should the owner of the device misplace it. An Apple ID Password will be required before turning off Find My iPhone, signing out of iCloud, erasing the device or reactivating a device after a remote wipe.

The update with iOS 6 added the ability to check the device's battery level.[1]

Since the release of iOS 7 users have complained about the link between GPS, WiFi and the App itself. Some handset owners have noted the App enables and disables itself when passing between cellular protocol bandwidths.


As of January 2013, the service is supported on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac computers running OS X 10.7.5 "Lion" or later.[11] In addition to a compatible device, a free iCloud account is required to use Find My iPhone.[10] Users can also track their Find My iPhone enabled devices through on Windows, but cannot use it the other way around to track their PC.


  • In November 2011, police in Los Angeles, California were able to find an armed robbery suspect by using Find My iPhone on the victim's stolen iPhone.[12]
  • In September 2012, two suspects were arrested in Atlanta, Georgia for robbing five women at gunpoint. Police were able to locate the suspects by using Find My iPhone to find one of the stolen iPhones.[13]
  • Since early 2011, some Sprint users who used the app to find their lost device were sent to a 59-year-old man's house in Las Vegas, Nevada. Multiple people insisted that he had their device and the police were called multiple times. The man eventually had to put up a sign by his door saying that he had no lost cell phones.[14]
  • On 16 January 2015, a Langley, British Columbia woman had her iMac stolen during a break-in at her home. Nearly a month later, she received a notification on her phone then contacted police who found and arrested two men just as they were attempting to escape out a back door.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Find My iPhone – iOS App Store". Apple Inc. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find My iPhone is now free... – 9to5Mac". Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  3. ^ Aamoth, Doug (November 23, 2010). "Find My iPhone "App of the Week" – Techland – Time". Time. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Find My Mac Coming in OS X Lion – 9to5Mac". Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Find My iPhone gets email notifications and offline device removal – 9to5Mac". Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d "iCloud – Find My iPhone". Apple Inc. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Mac World – Find My iPhone update". Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Benjamin, Jeff. "Find My iPhone Lost Mode". Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  9. ^ Wong, Raymond (December 11, 2012). "Apple Updates ‘Find My iPhone’ App With Handy Driving Directions". BGR Media, LLC. Retrieved December 15, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Gilbert, Jason (October 13, 2011). "Find My iPhone – Huffington Post". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  11. ^ "iCloud: Find My iPhone". Apple Inc. January 17, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ Winton, Richard (November 22, 2011). "'Find My Phone' iPhone app leads police to armed robbery suspect". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  13. ^ Etherington, Darrell (September 14, 2012). "Find My iPhone Leads To Arrest Of Suspects In Atlanta Armed Robbery Case". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  14. ^ Bishop, Rollin (January 15, 2013). "Find My iPhone Keeps Sending Sprint Customers to 59-Year-Old Retiree’s House". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  15. ^ "iGotcha: Police recover stolen computer thanks to 'Find My iPhone' app". February 11, 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2015. 

External links[edit]