Great story of how Kevin Miller tracked down his stolen iPhone using Mobile Me’s Find my iPhone app.
While Kevin’s friend walked the streets of Chicago with a broadband modem-enabled laptop, they homed in on the actual person who had taken their phone and confronted them.
“Have you got it?” I asked as I marched up to the guy, acting far more intimidating than I felt. Our iPhone-pilfering friend apparently works at the sketchy bar, and as he fished around in his bag, he gave a questionable alibi about having found the phone, intending to return it, but being intimidated by “all these scary-looking messages” that kept popping up on the display. “Um, yeah, those were from me,” I replied curtly. He pulled my phone out, totally unharmed, and handed it over. I resisted the urge to giggle.
Kevin acknowledges that this wouldn’t have been possible if the phone’s battery died
I’d been amazed that the phone had enough battery life to make it through the night and still beam its location; the moment its battery was dead, then it would be game over for our little scavenger hunt. I unlocked my phone and saw almost 20 missed calls. And then, at that very moment, the iPhone shut down and displayed the “Connect to power” icon. My phone’s battery literally hung on until the second it was in my hand. I wuv you, iPhone.
UPDATE: There’s a Nokia version of this product too – a bit more geeky but if you know what you’re doing, quite powerful.
UPDATE: Check out Ewan’s post for a very English version of this same fable. [I Lost My Phone in London Today]