Apple Patent Application Addresses Advanced 'Find My iPhone' Features and Customizability

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Patently Apple reports that another newly-published patent application from Apple reveals a hint at what could be the future of the company's "Find My iPhone" functionality. The proposed enhancements offer a device's owner a great deal more control over how it can be used once it is lost or stolen, as well as providing the device with smarter capabilities for detecting unauthorized usage. Among the interesting features:


    - Unauthorized usage detection: A passcode-enabled device could be programmed to automatically increase its security level after a certain number of incorrect passcode entries, moving to further secure sensitive information stored on the device or entering a surveillance mode in which it could begin collecting and transmitting audio, video, position, and other information that might help in identifying the person in possession of the device and reuniting it with its owner.


    - Selective data scrambling and wiping: The system could offer device owners a high level of customization regarding actions to be taken when a device is identified as lost or stolen. Beyond the basic remote lock and remote wipe features available with "Find My iPhone" today, the system could allow users to selectively wipe or scramble select content such as emails, contacts and passwords. Such a system could help a user avoid the need to completely wipe their device remotely, allowing other device functions to continue and increasing the chances of recovery.

    - Limiting device functions: In addition to scrambling or wiping of data, the system could allow users to selectively turn on or off access to certain features and capabilities on a lost or stolen device. For example, the user could turn off phone, texting, or cellular data capabilities, features that could otherwise result in charges being made to the owner's account. Additional security features such as the disabling of VPN capabilities can also help protect corporate networks from intrusion in the event that a device is lost or stolen.

    Article Link: Apple Patent Application Addresses Advanced 'Find My iPhone' Features and Customizability
  2. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Interesting... become big brothers of our devices....
  3. Thunderhawks macrumors 601

    Feb 17, 2009
    Retina or fingerprint scanning please.

    Also, wouldn' t reporting the location of where the iphone actually is bring Al Franken back for more political nonsense?
  4. World Citizen, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011

    World Citizen macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2011
    We need Power up over network...
    As long as I cant wake-up or power-up my device when it's shut down... I have limited use for Findmyiphone...

    Most criminals know these functions... and shut the phone down until they are in a network free zone...
    And then you as owner has to look 24/7 to the FMiphone application to see when he is turned on... A notification about this would be nice.

    And I would like to tag a device as stolen... when its stolen. I now have to rename the device from "iPhone" to " Stolen iPhone". Because you will buy a new one, and name it "iPhone" again. Every time You look at the FMiPhone app... there will be this painful reminder of it being stolen.
    And they could make a database of stolen iPhones this way... It could be handy when police will get off there butts, and go find them. They should make a quota on that!!! (Dutch Joke)
  5. aristotle macrumors 68000


    Mar 13, 2007
    Al Franken should stop wasting American tax payer's money on nonsense like that. He is just desperate for attention.
  6. Pumpkin King macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2007
    Great ideas. I like giving them only one option, "contact me". Besides that, I can track you and record you? Sweet.
  7. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Yeah - don't think I'll be turning on any feature which allows my phone to listen/view from the camera what's going on and sincerely hope such APIs are not accessible to ne'er do wells if this feature is implemented. Reminds me of the lawsuit against the school that was using the built in webcam to spy on its students.
  8. RayK macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2005
    This would be a GREAT feature.
  9. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    You bring to mind an interesting issue... why is he still in office?
  10. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Then it means the device never truly powered down. I doubt it'd happen.
  11. drewisanapple macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2011
    Is it useful, yes, very.

    Who'd ever know you needed this amount of security for your phone.
  12. Kabeyun macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2004
    Eastern USA
    St. John Smythe = James Bond

    I call first to point out that "St. John Smythe" is a reference to Roger Moore's James Bond alias in "A View To A Kill."

    Resume tech thread.

  13. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    A wiped device is a lost device. What would be nice is make the device so useless to anyone but the original owner that there's nothing else to do but return it to Apple.
  14. Tymmz macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2005
    good stuff, but all i want is the device to hinder me from sending unnecessary messages when i'm drunk.
  15. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Well played, sir--I guess I would have been second to point that out.
  16. octatonic macrumors regular


    Mar 23, 2010
    Damn you!
    That is precisely the reason I came to the thread.
  17. wmjbobic macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2008
  18. Untaken macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2009
    Until you can remotely prevent someone from restoring the device (which so long as DFU mode exists will be impossible), these types of security measures seem sort of useless to me. Any intelligent thief (okay, so many thieves are pretty dumb) will just turn the device off after stealing it, pull the sim card then throw the device in recovery mode when they get home and restore it.
  19. HelveticaNeue macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    The more features like this the better. I just wish you could report your phone as stolen and have Apple remotely brick the phone even if it had been erased and reset by the criminal, leaving it utterly useless until the rightful owner informs Apple that it has been recovered. If I can't have it no one can!
  20. bmwooden17 macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2011
    Missouri, US
    Okay this.... would be very cool. I'm really excited for this feature!
  21. eyhk macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2010
    Cloud Syncing?

    This is all good for protecting your personal information in the case where you lose your device, but what if your AppleID gets hacked/stolen?

    Soon with all your documents, music, email, calendars, pictures, contacts, application settings, etc backed up to the cloud, all thieves need to steal personal information is a single iPod Touch and a good phishing scheme. Just enter the stolen AppleID on the iPod Touch, sync to the cloud, and the thief has a copy of your entire phone.

    I am an Apple fan and love my iPhone 4 but after being victim to iTunes account theft I'm very skeptical about Apple's focus on account security. They have gotten better since then, requesting you to re-enter the security code of your credit card if you access iTunes from a new device, but I doubt they can use that for syncing to the cloud and I'm anxious to hear more about how they plan to protect your data.
  22. Dorje Sylas macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    For Schools

    Can I please get some of those reporting features enabled from the start through Profiles?! Monitoring student (K-12) activity on iOS is a difficult proposition wih current tools. Getting app and website browsing history covertly would be key to getting many school IT departments to be willing to approve their use.
  23. eekcat macrumors 6502a

    Apr 5, 2010
    You can already set it to notify (email) you when a previously-not-found device (powered off, off-network, etc.) becomes visible again...
  24. GQB macrumors 65816

    Sep 26, 2007
    Gotta love it. Tech blogs are abuzz 24/7 with warnings about privacy and analysis of how corporations are selling our identities, but if someone steps up to make manufacturers be more responsible about it, its HIM that's suddenly the bad guy.
  25. ericinboston macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    I'm not a fan of the "contact me" being the only feature/choice. If that's the ONLY thing a thief/founder can do with the phone, then very likely you will never get it back. Seriously. If someone steals your phone and it's useless, they are just going to smash it or try to sell it to someone who might have hacking tools to nuke the phone back to normal.

    I personally like the ability to ALSO monitor what is going on with the phone (where are they surfing, who are they calling, etc) so that I can contact the police.

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