Apple introduced Find My iPhone App back in 2009 part of a paid service called MobileMe, with the introduction of iOS 4 this service became free. This feature allows any iPhone to be located remotely, locked and even wiped in case of theft, yet it can also be used to locate missing people, as proven by a strange turn of events during a recent tragedy in Chile.
‘Find My iPhone’ is a feature built into iOS 4.2 and above that makes the lives of absentminded iPhone owners a lot easier. Using the device’s GPS hardware, ‘Find My iPhone’ enables all users to remotely locate a lost or stolen iPhone, display a message asking for it to be returned to its rightful owner, remotely impose a lockscreen code in order to stop ill-intentioned thieves from accessing any personal information, or even remotely wipe all of the device’s settings and data, restoring it to factory settings. All these features are accessible from the web , as well as a dedicated iOS app. This feature is allowed free of charge to all iPhone 4 owners by simply registering the device with their personal Apple ID.
A military plane crashed in Chile last week, killing all 21 passengers on board and coincidentally one of the passengers was carrying an iPhone. The relatives of the crash victim logged into Find My iPhone and were able to isolate the coordinates of the last known whereabouts of the plane before it crashed. That information was then given to the Navy who are using it to coordinate the rescue efforts to find the fuselage. We weren’t able to verify that until this morning when another report came in saying the same thing. Reader Rodrick translated:
Rear Admiral Francisco García-Huidobro explained the founding that
garnered a lot of attention today, and it has to do with an iPhone belonging to
one of the victims of the aereal accident in Juan Fernández, in a beach
in Bahía Carvajal.
The phone signal could be captured thanks to the GPS system, however, water
ended up shutting it down. Nevertheless, García Huidoro explained that they
managed to plot the last position from where the signal was last generated, which
will be made public tomorrow.
Navy Special Forces are expected to go down to the ocean floor and recover the
device on the fifth day of the search. The iPhone is expected to be near the place
where a wheel from the crashed plane was found on Friday.