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Fri, Oct 31, 2014

MRS. MURFREESBORO: iLove my iPhone

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I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but it seems that all the world has iPhones these days.

I have had one since the original came out and must say I am obsessively attached to it.

For years and years at Christmas (in hopes to organize me) Tommy would give me expensive address books and planners, but I never touched them. Then the iPhone – a virtual computer – came along and I found that all those notes posted all over my home, all those phones numbers I meant to copy, all those addresses and ideas I wanted to record could be “stuck” in one place: in my iPhone’s memory.

The new model was unveiled this week, and while initially I thought I wanted one, I think the one I have will serve me for a while, especially since I read that Apple would upgrade the software existing 4 and 4S models.

I wanted the new one because the glass on mine is shattered but a $5 case from the streets of New York solved that dilemma.

I could write forever about favorite apps, things I take photos of (shopping lists, recipes, menus, etc.) but will save that for another day.

What I want to address today is an app that many of my fellow iPhoner’s don’t know about: The Find My iPhone app, which you can download (for free) by going to the iTunes store and searching for “Find My iPhone” in the apps category or go to icloud.com and follow the instructions.

Even if your iPhone is turned off, the map will show its’ current location. If you’re like me, this could be in your own house, in which case calling it from another cell or land line may help find it (unless you have it on vibrate, which I often do).

But if you think you’ve left it somewhere else – like in some else’s car or in a store – the Find My app can be retrieved by someone else’s iPhone, your home computer or on any device where you can get to the internet.

I have a friend who shared this story with me recently.

He went to the lake for Labor Day and felt certain he left his iPhone in a congested supermarket. When he used Find My iPhone on his wife’s iPhone, it was traveling down a nearby road. He followed the route on the map, which led to a modest home in a subdivision in Smithville. He knocked on the door and asked the woman who came to the door for his phone; she handed it over to him.

Because he had locked it, it could not be used (although it could have been answered). When he originally called his own phone the perpetrators did not answer; when they answered the door they apparently knew they were “busted” and turned the phone, which they obviously intended to keep, over to him.

Case closed.

That was one gutsy (incautious) act that ended well, but it could have ended badly too. I don’t think I’d be knocking on someone else’s door like that for fear of a shotgun facing me in the eyes.

That friend locks his phone because it is his “office,” containing blueprints, bills, estimates, etc. My phone only has things that I wouldn’t mind anyone else seeing and I have rethought setting a code to lock it for this reason.

Once in New York City my phone fell out of my pocket onto the seat of a taxi. I didn’t miss it. It was, however, picked up by a thoughtful woman who dialed the last number called (my daughter Beth). When Beth saw my number calling she answered: “Mom!!!” And the woman said, “It’s not your Mom,” and explained that she had found my phone in a cab. Tommy later walked several blocks to meet her at a chic address on Central Park West outside her apartment building to retrieve it for me.

I’m not so sure I could have traced the phone to one apartment in a multi-story building in New York City. And if it had been locked she would not have been able to call me.

I’ve read that once the phone is missing you can set a lock code remotely; but again, that would have prevented my helper from finding me.

“First-world problems,” as my sister Kelley says.

For now I think I’ll leave my phone unlocked and try very, very hard to always be aware of its whereabouts. It’s kind of as bad as keeping up with keys, isn’t it?

‘Til next week.
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Mrs. Murfreesboro
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iPhone, Jeanne Bragg, Mrs Murfreesboro, Technology, Voices
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