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Find My iPhone - Success!

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Jameze, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    I thought you might all like to hear about the adventures I had tonight.

    It all started out with a trip to Tesco... my girlfriend in her wisdom rested her iPhone on the baby seat (which I didn't see) and when lifting the baby seat out of the trolley and putting it in the car, the iPhone must have falled off and landed on the floor (we assume).

    So fast forward 5 minutes or so and we pull up at the flat. Abbi asks where her phone is (she ALWAYS misplaces it - it's common procedure to go straight to Find My iPhone and play an alert sound until it's found). She quickly clicked though that she'd last left the phone on the baby seat, and low and behold it is no longer there... so I checked the app on my phone and yep, her phone was showing as being in Tesco carpark. Great! We rushed back and within the space of just a few minutes our space was gone, the trolley we'd used had disappeared and so had the phone. I tracked it again to see if it was still there but it wasn't - it was on the move! Cheeky b*****d!!!

    We rang the phone numerous times. No answer. We tried guilt tripping them "Irreplaceable baby photos, please return!" and then my phone number to contact me with. No such luck. We kept on playing the Find My iPhone sound to get their attention (and in the hope we would hear it) - for those of you who aren't familiar, it plays a loud sound, regardless of whether or not the phone is on silent, and does not stop until the phone is unlocked.

    We drove 2 seconds across the carpark to the back entrance / exit where the phone was last shown on the map, quickly parked up and checked my phone again... it was still on the move, at quite a pace too. We continued on our journey, chasing this phone down in the hope of finding the person responsible for stealing it!

    Parking up again a mile or so down the road where it was last seen, we looked around to see if we could see anyone. Nobody. No suspicious looking cars either. We thought maybe it was in a nearby house but then the dot on the map moved yet again. I drove a short distance down the road until I was right on top of it - weirdly enough a Tesco home delivery van was pulled up on the opposite side of the road. It was a strange coincidence! I jumped out and asked if he had it for some reason but he said he didn't - I got back in the car and checked my phone again. Now it was back down near Tesco again?! Were they returning the phone?? We raced back to where it was last spotted but it was gone again.

    We spent the next 20 minutes or so chasing this dot which always seemed to be about a mile in front of us the whole time, going back and forth and round in circles we were convinced somebody was giving us the drive around. Perhaps they knew they were being followed? If they knew what Find My iPhone was and had seen the alerts then I'm sure they will have known someone would be hot on their trail.

    We eventually came to a stop which suggested it was just off a main road, down a little street. We pulled off the road and into the street... it was a heavily populated estate. Great! Flats 3/4 storeys high, cars parked EVERYWHERE. There wasn't a chance in hell we were going to find it here. Close to giving up, we parked up for a bit and waited for the signal to settle to see if we could pinpoint exactly where it was and maybe we'd be in luck and we could track it down. We spent 10 minutes waiting for the GPS signal to return - the phone was still on but the phone just wasn't updating its location which was strange.

    Eventually it seemed to - it was saying that it was at the side of the road (the main road just outside the estate). We drove slowly out of the estate, keeping an eye on the location of the phone. After parking up we quickly saw that there was absolutely nothing around, no cars or people that could possibly have it. We did however notice a dodgy looking pitch black ginnel which separated the main road from the estate - we thought maybe the person was down this ginnel with the phone? Or maybe the signal was coming from one of the flats nearby to the edge of the ginnel?? I reached for my Fenix TK15 tactical torch (VERY bright) and went searching. There was nobody around so we stood by the flat closest to the signal and played the Find My iPhone sound once more... and we heard it! It was very quiet but it was definitely the phone. Abbi was convinced it was coming from the flat and was about to go knocking on some doors (?!) when suddenly I was convinced it was coming from the darkness over towards the main road. I walked through the overgrowth, the sound getting louder and louder. I half expected to find someone sat there in the darkness just holding her phone! But nope, there it was. At the side of the road just laid in the grass!!! I couldn't believe it. I didn't want to risk walking around and someone coming across it (a prickly hedge stood between me and the phone) so I slowly worked my way through the hedge, still wearing my suit from work, and there it was. Finally. After nearly 2 hours of searching and chasing, we finally had it back!!!!

    We were convinced we'd lost all the irreplaceable photos and videos of our daughter's first moments. Someone clearly knew they were being followed and decided to just give up and throw the phone out of the car window into the bushes.

    The funniest thing was we discovered the "World Foods" isle at Tesco tonight. So on top of a load of unhealthy and ludicrously overpriced American foods, we also purchased some fortune cookies. After we finally got the phone back and got back home, I opened mine and this is what it said...

    [​IMG]


    The pink dot shows where the phone was found, the green dot shows where we were standing when we heard it!...

    [​IMG]


    The phone as we found it...

    [​IMG]


    This shows how far the phone ended up from Tesco. Plus all the chasing back and forth, round and round, hot on the tail of the scumbag who stole it!...

    [​IMG]


    I went Liam Neeson on that b*tch!

    If you haven't already, I suggest you install Find My iPhone.
    #1
  2. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    Wow what a story!!

    Bet you are glad to have it back hey mate....

    Now get backing up all of them pics!!!
    #2
  3. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    Good work! :detective2:
    #3
  4. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Great story - good outcome.
    #4
  5. the_cueball
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    the_cueball Member

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    magic....

    does the person have to have the App on their phone, or can it just be used with their apple ID???

    great story and result though!!
    #5
  6. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger

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    Cool, good work.

    Been meaning to install this
    #6
  7. @udi A3
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    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    Does it prevent the phone being turned off? Great recovery !
    #7
  8. C6 DRN
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    C6 DRN living the dream

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    Great read! ha glad you found it.
    #8
  9. Cruiser89
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    Cruiser89 Advanced In Car Tech Site Sponsor

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    Incredible.... Bet you secretly loved it though?

    I have it installed on all my iDevices and a system called Prey on both my laptop and iPhone. It's free and well worth it.

    Open source anti-theft solution for laptops, phones & tablets – Prey

    It can basically track your laptop, take photos using a webcam etc and allow you to see what they are doing on your laptop / phone!

    RE: Photos - Set up the photo stream with iCloud and your laptop. Whenever I take a pic on my phone it appears on my laptop and I just copy it out. Very handy!
    #9
  10. A4_MaJiK
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    A4_MaJiK Active Member

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    Tried using it on my GF's iPhone when it got stolen 2 weeks ago but unfortunately the scumbag must of turned it off ASAP as it only showed as being 'offline'. Still good to have nevertheless.
    #10
  11. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    Definitely haha. We were VERY lucky we got it back! Will be backing them all up regularly from now on.
    #11
  12. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    I've got the app on my phone so I just signed in with her Apple ID. You can sign in online to track it as well though, you don't need the app (you just need it on the phone you're tracking obviously).
    #12
  13. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    I'd definitely urge you to! A mate at work lost his brand new iPhone 5 before Christmas after a night out. Gutted! And to make things worse, his dad had cancelled the insurance just the other week (for some reason his dad was picking up the monthly insurance charge and he cancelled it not knowing what it was). Double gutted!!
    #13
  14. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    Strangely enough it doesn't. I was VERY surprised it wasn't turned off, as that would have been game over for us. The person obviously wasn't very bright and panicked when they soon realised I was onto them. I wish it was my phone that was stolen though as mine is jailbroken and I've got a tweak that takes a picture on the front camera of anyone who enters my passcode wrong, immediately emails me the picture of their face and their location. I also read about a jailbreak tweak which was being developed that allows you to do a "fake power down" whereby turning the phone off the usual way doesn't actually turn it off, it puts the phone into a covert state and dims the screen to 0% (making you think it's switched off - even the "Slide to Power Off" comes up). The benefit of course is that it can't be turned off unless you know the alternative way, and in the meantime you can close in on the thief and track your phone! Thanks for reminding me to look for this tweak again :) definitely installing it!
    #14
  15. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    I'll have to look into that, sounds good. I've got something mildly similar which takes a picture of the person trying to guess your unlock code and immediately emails you their face and location (iCaughtU).

    I had a iCloud set up before for photos but the 5GB allowance quickly got filled up which was annoying! I just use it for my contacts now.

    EDIT: I did love it actually! It was exciting :) haha
    #15
  16. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    Yeah that was my fear - turning it off and just restoring the phone. Luckily my thief wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed!
    #16
  17. dubdemand
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    dubdemand VAG Addict

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    Great story and one I can relate to!

    a few weeks ago I was on one of my clients sites (wont say who, but they operate public transport in London). It was a secure building and I had to provide ID and have my photo taken for my visitor pass upon entry to their training center in West Kensington.

    I was working on their lighting control system on the third floor and was half in, half out of a plant room working on a panel. I left my iPad on a water cooler, in its case right outside the door in the corridor.

    I must have turned my back on it for all of 5 minutes and it was gone! Some staff that were there for training had walked past just before but in my good natured way I didn't expect them of theft. I started doubting myself, raised it with the floor managers and started searching all areas I had been working in thinking I must have misplaced it.

    I was with two of the facilities staff and they were helping me look for it. I activated the search and locate alarm from my iPhone via the app but we couldn't hear it anywhere. That was until one of the engineers went in to the gents toilets. He called me in and we could hear it beeping clearly and that's when it dawned on me that it had been stolen.

    We first thought it had been hidden up above the ceiling tiles but they were fixed in place and there was no way of lifting them up. Then we noticed the MDF panels behind the toilets in the cubicles. The one on the end had a screw missing and the other screw had been jammed in at an angle making it impossible to remove it again. We went into the cubicle next door and unscrewed the panel in there, once removed the beeping became louder, my iPad was recovered! We reached round and pulled it out from where it had been wedged down behind the cistern.

    The guilty party made himself fairly obvious during this process going to and fro between his training room and the toilets 3 times during the hunt and subsequesnt recovery. He even quizzed one of the engineers about what he was doing when he followed him in to the toilets at one point! Unfortunately though there was no hard evidence and I decided it was best for my business relations to let it go...

    It boils my p*** that a member of staff would steel valuable equipment from a visitor to their building. Especially as I was there as a good will gesture!

    These guys get paid £35-40k a year to drive public transport, they complain about this like no body's business, go on strike throwing London into chaos at the slightest opportunity and this particular gentleman has now proven that they really are a complete bunch of greedy thieving f'king scum bags! Ok he has a job, but he's no better than the scrounging benefit thieves or illegal immigrants sapping the life out of our society and communities.

    If it wasn't for the business relations I would have/should have gone to the papers over this! The main thing is that I recovered my property, no damage was done and technology has beaten yet another moronic scum bag!
    #17
  18. Cruiser89
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    Cruiser89 Advanced In Car Tech Site Sponsor

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    Yeah thats backup storage not for photo stream...

    PhotoStream holds up to 1000 photos. Not a massive deal as I just copy out the ones I want. Turn iCloud back on but change the backup setting to computer and not iCloud. Then turn on Photostream.

    Go to your PC and download iCloud from the internet and ensure that you tell it to allow you to do photostream. Bosh
    #18
  19. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    That's incredible. I can't believe someone actually did that! I'd have left him a lovely note or tried to climb inside there - punch him in the nuts when he returns and opens the panel :)
    #19
  20. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    Ooooh okay, will definitely look into that then. I rarely plug my phone into iTunes, if ever, so that's definitely useful. Didn't realise that's what photostream does! I even tried using Dropbox to backup my photos but I soon filled that allowance too (even after referring countless people... and maybe myself a few times for extra storage space!). Cheers Tim.
    #20
  21. Chriscooke
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    Chriscooke Clueless!

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    Good story. I've just installed this on my phone, let's hope I never have to use it.
    #21
  22. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    Just been doing some research into a jailbreak tweak to disable powering down the device. I didn't realise that the tweak I'm already running which will take pictures of you if you get the passcode wrong (iCaughtU) has this feature built in (I've just not enabled it!).

    When researching a tweak to disable a potential thief from turning the phone off, I came across a couple (PowerDown Enhancer and NoPowerDown). I also came across a jailbreak tweak which sounds very good! It sounds similar to one that Tim recommended - thought I'd give you guys the rundown just in case there's someone running a jailbroken iPhone that would be interested...

    It's called "Cylay" and the features are:
    • Mobile phone state - Get the latest state of the device mobile number, carrier, wi-fi name, network status, signal strength, battery status.
    • Live Camera Streaming - Live streaming from your camera, or take a picture from camera. Need high speed network support.
    • Backup mobile data - Mobile data will be encrypted and compressed by password.
    • Lock/Unlock iPhone - Lock your device use any password in real-time, support ASCII character.
    • Tracking mobile phone - Update the location once or continue tracking device in real-time.
    • Network send messages - Display message on remote device. You can put your number or other text on the screen.
    • Alarm - Play a continuously sound with vibrate. User can not stop or adjust volume from device.
    • Call History - Query current device call history in real-time.
    • Prohibit Shutdown - Prohibit shutdown feature will make your device connectable. User can not shutdown device until battery drains.
    • Remote Take Picture - Take a picture whenever you want, just click a button. You can choose front/rear camera.
    • Remote Wipe - Wipe all your user data immediately, protect your privacy.
    • Invisible Cylay - You can fully hide cylay from your device, nobody will know you have it installed.
    One feature which it also claims to have is that if someone put takes your simcard out and put their own in, it will give you their number!

    www.cylay.com

    It certainly sounds promising and I've installed it already, I'll be giving it a test run to see what it's like :)
    #22
  23. Sandra
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    Sandra MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    James, i liked your adventure on the hunt for the phone, i can just see you driving all over town looking for it. So glad you got it back. Tell the Mrs to get it backed up to the pc, photographs are priceless. Great memories in years to come. :) x
    #23
  24. @udi A3
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    @udi A3 Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    I have icaughtu on my device, found it highly amusing proving littlun was trying to jack my phone with photo evidence! The no power off feature is awesome, thats the only good thing about the iphone battery not being removable!
    #24
  25. matts1
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    matts1 Member

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    Great story and result mate.

    My misses got a cab home one night, on arrival home she asked the cabby to wait whilst she got some money from me in the house - now yes, she should have had enough on her, but as she was not near a bank or cashpoint and on her own, just flagged a black cab.

    She gave the cabbie her brand new blackberry to hold whilst she fetched his cash, walked the ten ft down the drive to the front door and the cabbie just drives straight off!!

    I dived into my car and headed after the cab but the couple of minutes that had gone by had given him the chance to slip away and on a Friday night, cabs were everywhere so no way to clock which had dropped her off.

    We cancelled the phone but as it wasn't insured she was very much out of pocket. Would have loved something like this, would have been fun to catch the peice of filth.

    She now knows a) to have enough money for a cab on her, and if not then b) to call me to bring cash out to her rather than trust a cabby!!
    #25
  26. dubdemand
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    dubdemand VAG Addict

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    You can track Blackberrys in the same way mate... Not sure what the software is called but it can be downloaded from blackberry app world. My eldest left his BB on a bus and we managed to trace it to where the girl that picked it up lived. She looked like a rabbit in headlights when we turned up asking for the phone back lol
    #26
  27. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger

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    Lol - who would want to nick a blackberry though hehe
    #27
  28. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    Yeah BlackBerry has their own version - BlackBerry Protect if I remember correctly. Used to have it installed on my old phone. Apps like that are invaluable. In fact, as sad as it is... I had a dream last night that my car got stolen and I used something similar (Find My Audi or something!) and tracked it down to Bradford where it was being stripped down for parts. Haha!
    #28
  29. Cruiser89
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    Cruiser89 Advanced In Car Tech Site Sponsor

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    Find my Audi?

    [​IMG]
    #29
  30. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    That's what came to mind when I woke up haha. I'm not sure I'd want my car back if it ever got nicked though!
    #30
  31. Mikemc
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    Mikemc Active Member

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    I lost mine once, went home to my laptop searched for it, said it was offline. Went back to the only place I last had it, low and behold it was in the middle of the road were I parked up to get out to speak to a mate. Turned out I drove over it after pulling off and so did he, and probably many others. iPhone = Destroyed
    #31
  32. jb0o
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    jb0o North East Forum Moderator Site Sponsor

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    Couldn't believe this story when you told me today! Brilliant!
    #32
    Jameze likes this.
  33. s3clarke
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    s3clarke Money grabbing s3!

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    why didn't they just turn it off the dumbasses lol
    #33
  34. sammi
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    sammi Member

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    Made up for you!we make sure all of our photos are on photo stream just incase! The find my I phone is a great app, I once had a problem with my car and my husband came and took the car without me knowing as he has found my whereabouts via my phone And had it checked out whilst I was with a client! The first i knew it was missing was when he sent me a picture of it on the ramps! Great app as long as you are where you say you are!!!!
    #34
  35. k1ano
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    k1ano Member

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    Brilliant story, IMHO these Apple features are well engineered and very useful, especially if you have all the cloud services turned on as you protect your data too even if the phone can't be recovered i.e. contacts, pictures, notes etc.The moral of these stories also is that you can be your own detective if a crime happens - if you are equipped with a bit of knowledge and some tenacity.I had a VERY expensive mountain bike stolen a few years ago and, to cut a long story short, I did see the guy riding it around after a few weeks but couldn't follow him home. I went to the police and they were honest and said not a lot they could do but advised me to keep a look out as bike thiefs often let the dust settle after a crime and then either sell or use the stolen bike themselves. I randomly drove around a couple of the local estates for a week or two after that and saw my bike again, followed the rider home, called the cops and got the bike back.Martin
    #35
  36. dannyboy75
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    dannyboy75 Member

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    Great story and glad you got the phone back.

    I too have Find my iPhone and also iGotYa installed - the latter is a jailbreak app similar to iCaughtU, emails photo of thief and prevents shutdown of phone. Of course there's still nothing to stop the thief removing the SIM though.

    The other thing I have a habit of doing is turning off Location Services to save battery, which makes Find my iPhone fairly useless. After reading the OP's story, I have just enabled it again. :blush:
    #36
  37. k1ano
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    k1ano Member

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    I assume you know, but if you don't, you can turn location services on and then customise it to only allow things like 'find my i-phone' - this stops apple and other apps snooping on you whilst still maintaining those location services you really need. Also the system services option within location services gets nobbled on my i-devices, especially 'diagnostics & usage', 'location based i-ads' and 'mobile network search'.
    #37
  38. Avnt
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    Avnt Active Member

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    I used this app to find my in laws ipad after they were broken into. Fantastic thing caught the person using it as well as the person who robbed it
    #38
  39. _G_
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    _G_ Member

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    really useful for health reasons/spying/timing journey too...
    1. health.. when i was ill and taking the bus my wife could track me incase something happened
    2. installed it on wifes phone so know where she is and she knows where i am but can always turn icloud off or put it into flight mode.. not what we use it for anyway..
    3. mostly use it for tracking her journey so i know when to pick her up from the tube station! sweeeeeeeeeeeet!
    #39
  40. sportstractor
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    sportstractor Chugger

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    Isn't there a similar find a friend app?
    #40

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