5 Replies Latest reply: Oct 8, 2012 1:14 PM by varjak paw
PinkFloydRoadie Level 1 (0 points)

Basically, this is a posting for BOTH Apple and mobile device users.  It contains suggestions for Apple and tips for user who have lost a trackable device (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, etc).


Recently we misplaced an iPad in an Orlando airport.  After several days of going through a lot of processes, contacting many agencies, etc. I was able to determine its position to recover it.  In the proccess, I learned a lot, and by being an electronics and software engineer, I see holes that Apple could fill to help out customers in these situations.  Of course it occured to me that Apple may not have an interest in helping users recover a lost or stolen product because it might be viewed that a user will just order another one.  I bet sales would actually increase if it were guaranteed that a lost iProduct could not be used by another person.  So being that such protection with in-field products could be done with an OS firmware update, I will first suggest the following changes in hope that someone at Apple is listening.  After all, they are really smart people, yet I am amazed that only no assistance or tools are embedded into Apple mobile devices during production for when they are lost.



1. Don't require a user to separately set up a MobileMe account or iCloud account to be able to track a device.  Build that application into the mobile device OS.  Allow a user to enable or disable device tracking settings from the remote account.  If a user desires, it should not be allow to be disabled at the device even if it is reset.  In this way, a person who has stolen a device won't be able to deactivate tracking. Yes, I understand that in order to track a device that it must be connected to an internet network, WiFi or cellular network at some point.

2. Create an ability in the iTunes account for a user to report a lost or stolen device.  If you see that device connected in the future, then report that fact back to the owener and don't allow any updates or purchases to occur on that device until the owner cancels the "BLOCK". 


3. Put a LOT more information in your support forum about how device tracking works and suggestions for various ways to recover a device.  What you have there is painfully insufficient.  With tens of millions of your devices out there, I bet that hundreds of them are lost each week, and you are doing nothing to assist a user to relocate those devices.




As you might have seen already on other forums or postings, one possibility to find a device is through the "Find My Device" feature, yet if you didn't install that app and turn on the ability to track the device in advance of losing it, then you are out of luck.


HOW I LOCATED MY PAD: In my case, I did not have a cellular data plan activated even though the iPad2 had AT&T 3G built-in.  I was always using my iPhone as a WiFi hotspot for the iPad internet connection via the iPhone (nice feature that Apple included).  Thus, when the iPad was lost and no longer near my iPhone, I was not able to use the "Find My iPad" app even though it was previously installed.  I could only locate it if someone opened the iPad and connected to a local WiFi network in order for me to see where it was located.  That did not happen.  Thus, I discovered the little known AT&T site of http://ATT.com/ipadlanding so I could sign-up for a one month $15 data plan.  By entering the iPad IMEI and ICCID numbers (from my iPad product box) into the online account, I could create a new data plan.  Within minutes of doing it, the iPad (still had battery power after 4 days) lite up on the "Find my iPad" web site when it saw the AT&T cell network.  By using a combination of Google and phone directory services to get the address and phone number of that location, I was able to call and get them to locate it after I sent an audible alert and message to the iPad.  Of course, this only worked because I have an iPad2 with ATT&T 3G.


Best wishes for finding your device.

iPad 2, iOS 4