Real-Time "Find my iPhone"?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by bobsentell, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    bobsentell

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    Alabama
    #1
    I did a search but couldn't find my answer. Does anyone know if the "Find my iPhone" feature offers live updating or is it a "snapshot" of where that phone is at that time?

    On a couple occasions, some city streets are closed for events and the GPS in the car is not helpful in those situations. If my wife calls me needing directions, will I be able to see her location in real-time or will I have to constantly update that page?
     
  2. macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #2
    It's not designed for real-time tracking. I would imagine you would have to keep refreshing the page. For it to be real-time, it would need a constant connection to Apple's location servers, which it doesn't do for obvious reasons (design, battery life, performance, etc).
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobsentell

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    Alabama
    #3
    That's what I thought, but obviously the "Find..." service has a way to turn on the GPS remotely. I highly doubt Apple will keep it on by default.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #4
    Find My iPhone uses the location services that are already configured and turned on by default in firmware 3.0.

    A thief could easily disable location services in the iPhone's general settings tab, and the service wouldn't work.

    It doesn't turn any feature on remotely.
     
  5. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    #5
    I'm fairly certain it doesn't use GPS, just cell tower triangulation and skyhook. It never gives you a dot, only a circle with not such great accuracy.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobsentell

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    Alabama
    #6
    So this would even work with the 2G? Other than giving me a general idea (left it at dad's, in-laws, etc) I fail to see the point of giving me a 10-mile radius.
     
  7. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #7
    As mentioned, it's not only not live, but you need to keep logging into me.com every 15 minutes to access that area of it. At best, you can get an update every couple of minutes, since it "refines" the location for over a minute, at least as far as I can tell, every time you ask it (or at least nearly every time).
    That might be for privacy reasons. I've seen a circle with a radius that couldn't have been much more than 100', if that. I think, if there's a GPS, it uses it. But I could be wrong.
     
  8. macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #8
    You just described the main point of the service. It'll get you to at least the block. In my case, the circle is around roughly three homes in my neighborhood.

    http://www.apple.com/mobileme/whats-new/
     
  9. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    #9
    It's not a 10 mile radius. You don't give triangulation enough credit. This is a screenshot of mine:
     

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  10. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobsentell

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    Alabama
    #10
    I don't live in a large metro area. On my wife's 2G, google maps gives us a 10-mile radius, since there is only one tower in the area.

    I found: http://www.apple.com/mobileme/whats-new/

    It does use the towers. Unfortunately, won't help mush as neither my parents nor my in-laws have that great an AT&T (or anything for that matter) signal.
     
  11. macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #11
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    #12
    Find my iPhone is precise enough to let you realize that you left your phone at a restaurant or at a friends. It is not precise enough to find the guy that stole your iPhone and kick in his door. It's not designed to be a tracking device so you can't put it in your spouses car and track them.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobsentell

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    Alabama
    #13
    I saw that, and I think I'll get it when my kids get a lot older.:D

    But I'm really just asking for the purposes of emergencies. Since we don't have OnStar, I figure this could serve a similar purpose since it's built in. Oh well. Thanks for your help though.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bobsentell

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    Alabama
    #14
    Thanks.

    I have no intention of tracking my wife. In fact, I can't get her to stop texting me with her every location. Thank God for unlimited text plans. :)

    Was watching an episode of L&O and the question just popped in my head. I appreciate everyone's help.
     

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