Janna is currently in Iowa visiting her mother. I miss her heaps, and I am happy to help whenever the call for assistance arrives from the Midwest into my Google Voice Inbox via SMS. Janna has her iPad with her and her creaky, water-soaked-and-barely-usable, iPhone 3G. Her 3GS was stolen. We skipped the iPhone 4 in indignant principle. We will move up the iPhone 4S or 5 or whatever it will be when it is announced.
Janna can really only do SMS on her iPhone because that’s the only App that runs because a seltzer bottle exploded in her bag. 24 hours in a gas oven with only the pilot light on worked wonders because, eventually, the phone was at least able to turn on again and do text.
Here’s the SMS text she sent me from Iowa using her iPad:
Find out where my iPhone is. It is either at moms home or at kmart. If kmart I will go get it. Been organizing stuff and when I do that, I can’t find things.
I logged into her Mobile Me account and used the “Find My iPhone” feature to try to pin down the location of her iPhone.
Because her iPad is newer and faster and has better GPS than her iPhone 3G, the results for the iPad popped up first. I was shocked at the accuracy of Find My iPhone because the pinpoint location of that iPad was EXACTLY in her former bedroom where she was using her iPad to SMS me via Google Voice. Not the kitchen or the living room — her bedroom:
Then the results for the iPhone 3G became available. I could see it was in the same location as her iPad. That was good news. Her iPhone wasn’t at K-Mart. It was nearby, and I told her so:
Looks like the phone is in the same place as your iPad. I sent a message to the phone and it should make a PINGing sound for 2 minutes to help find it.
Janna is Deaf, but her entire family is Hearing, so they could help with the PINGing sonar to help locate the phone.
Waiting for her to reply sent me back to the live images of her iPad and iPhone 3G locations. The iPhone, because it is older and more awful than the iPad, doesn’t have as good of a GPS locator. That’s why you see a large blue circle around the “location” of the phone and you don’t see that circle on the results for the iPad. The blue circle gives you a general radius of where the iPhone just might be. In the past, I’ve found the pinpoint precision to be pretty good on older iPhones using Find My iPhone, but I understand Apple needs the blue circle wiggle room.
As I more closely examined the map results for her iPhone, I saw the iPhone was not precisely next to the iPad inside her house. It looked like it was just outside near the garage. I decided to SMS her my discovery:
Looks like the phone might be outside? Or in the backyard or car or garage? It doesn’t look right inside the house on the map like the iPad.
In a few minutes she replied:
I was overjoyed that Find My iPhone worked from afar so well:
Great! Was it inside our outside?
One last SMS, and then she was gone:
Find My iPhone worked great from 1,500 miles apart! Janna knew she had a way to find her lost iPhone and I was delighted the discovery process worked so well and did not disappoint. If you don’t have the Find My iPhone App on your iPad and iPhone, install it now — you never quite know who you can help or when you’ll need it yourself.