Apple has made Find My iPhone free to all owners of iOS devices with the release of iOS 4.2. In the past this feature was bundled into the Mobile Me suite, which costs $100 a year. It will also work with the Apple iPad running the upgraded operating system.
According to Mashable, Find My iPhone allows users to pinpoint their device on a map, so it can be easily recovered. To date, it has been one of MobileMe’s most popular services, so its release to the public will likely once again fuel speculation that MobileMe is going free. BlackBerry, Motorola and Windows Phone 7 each offer free apps to locate missing devices.
The Find My iPhone app is available now in the App Store. While iTunes does not yet reflect its new price, Apple has confirmed that it will, in fact, be free.
According to New York Times, If you have ever had the unfortunate incident of losing a cell phone, you probably know the frantic stress that can come with searching for the device. Asking yourself where you last saw the phone and praying that its ringer is not set to silent.
The ”Find My Phone” feature makes it simple to track down this missing gadgetry using its internal GPS sensor. Its location can be spotted on a special Web site and the owner can disable the device if there is sensitive information hidden onboard.
Apple’s decision to make this feature free could foreshadow other features that are currently hidden behind the Mobile Me paywall. Apple might be feeling pressure from Google, which offers a number of free solutions that compete with Apple’s expensive alternative.
There are also a number of free products that enable tracking a lost mobile phone on the Google Android platform. In the face of these kinds of free alternatives, Apple’s ability to continue to charge customers $100 a year for the Mobile Me platform could be short-lived.