Perhaps one of the best features on the iPhone is the user's ability to locate it via GPS if it gets lost or stolen. The "Find My iPhone" app has given some happy endings to stories collected by Apple users, but it has also resulted in some crazy plot twists right out of the movies.
But in order for Find My iPhone to be useful, the device generally has to remain powered on. If your iPhone is known to have battery problems or a busted Lightning port prevents charging, your chances of finding it drastically decrease.
In the first part of this series, we'll talk about some wild stories where Find My iPhone has provided closure of some degree, at least. Later, we'll get into ways to prevent battery failure at critical moments.
Here is a list of some crazy stories where Find My iPhone has played a pivotal role:
Taxi to Asia?
Everyone who has an iPhone has probably misplaced it at some point in their lives. The number of iPhones left in – and recovered from – taxi cabs is probably staggering. But some of these devices never return. Where do they go? In the case of Bloomberg contributor Sarah Frier, the answer is "somewhere in Asia."
Frier left her iPhone in the back seat of a cab earlier this year. She attempted to find it through Find My iPhone, but it was off and could not be tracked. After a few months spent using a new device, she received a notification that her old phone had been reactivated – in Bangladesh. It had apparently been sold on the black market.
"Apple prompted me to remotely wipe the contents of the old phone and display a message that said, 'This iPhone has been lost. Please call me.' In Apple's perfect world, everyone who ends up with a stolen phone would return it to its rightful owner. But that's wishful thinking when you consider how pervasive the problem is."
Missing woman found
It may be called Find My iPhone, but after a California woman was injured in a car accident, it might as well be called "Find Me." After spending 13 hours stuck in a ravine, Consumerist contributor Mary Beth Quirk said that a woman was found alive after a police officer was able to guess her password on her iPad and activate "Find My iPhone."
"Rescuers found her injured but conscious, face down in a ravine about 500 yards off an embankment," Quirk stated. "The car was on its roof, and the victim was outside. She only had 12 percent battery left on her phone by the time she was found."
Not only can people be rescued through Find My iPhone, but sometimes criminals can be apprehended as well. According to The Oregonian, armed robbery suspects in Portland, Oregon, were reportedly brought into custody thanks to Find My iPhone. Stories like this should make anyone think twice before stealing an iPhone. Doing so is akin to grabbing a GPS device that tracks your every move.
Find My iPhone needs power to function
Find My iPhone can be a valuable asset. But the device has to be in good working order for users to be able to set this feature up and make sure it stays activated. Part of ensuring that you can always locate your lost or stolen device is making sure that it holds a charge for a significant amount of time.
This can be inhibited by several things. In the next part of our series, we'll get into what kind of problems can cause iPhone 5c battery problems.