While I was looking at MobileMe today to check some files, I first was greeted with a message telling me the service was down. I then refreshed and noticed the addition of a button on the side that says "Find My iPhone". I then clicked the button on the sidebar and it gave me a few options, find my iphone, wipe my iphone, or send a sound or message to the iphone. I have the 3.0 GM installed through a developer account and so I promptly clicked find my iPhone as I was interested in how well this would work. After about 20 seconds I was greeted with a message that told me I needed to enable the setting on the iPhone. After some searching I found the option under mail setting and the MobileMe account. This is in an obscure place and hopefully will change in the future. See the photo below:
After turning on the option I then tried the find my iPhone button again and after 30 seconds it pinpointed the iPhone to my house as shown below. I live in a fairly obscure area so the photo is not the greatest, but does provide location.
Now that we have the general location of the iPhone we can send a message or sound to the iPhone. As the message says "you can play a sound even in silent mode". I flipped the vibrate switch to on, putting it in silent mode and then sent the sound to the iPhone. After just 3 seconds I received the message I typed for the iPhone to display. The iPhone also played the "Sonar" ringtone which was not what I had selected as my ringtone.
Here is what the iPhone displayed just 3 seconds later:
After I turned off the message on the iPhone and was pleased at the results, my inbox had received a message showing the event that had taken place.
It looks like Apple has sorted out all the MobileMe issues of the past and this iPhone location service works as promised. The real test will be when thousands upon thousands use the service at once on a regular basis. Only then will we know if the servers have the capacity to handle the traffic and pass-off to AT&T. So far I am thoroughly impressed with the ease of use and response time.
The remote wipe feature we can test another time. I just wiped the iPhone to install the 3.0GM build and just don’t have the time to restore everything again. Feel free to try it out and let me know though.