A heartwarming story about iPhones…

Don’t be frightened, iPhone owners…


It’s always a total joy to welcome a new writer into the Interestment fold, and today is the turn of friend of a friend of a housemate, Philip, to share an insight into a very useful iPhone tracking device. He had this to say…

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Like most of the world, I think iPhones are pretty cool.  I annoy my friends by talking about it, violate etiquette by consistently producing it from my pocket during social engagements, and relentlessly tinker with the thing for no apparent reason. I’m using it right now to make my laptop connect to the internet for god’s sake! I will probably check Twitter in a minute while I’m making cheese on toast in the kitchen. This thing is blowing my mind.

So, as well as being pretty cool, the iPhone has changed my life. I’m now boring, rude and rely on trite and simplistic bread-based snacks so that I can devote my attention to the constantly shifting world that exists inside a portable device. I drive more dangerously (following GPS, emailing etc), am probably far more likely to become a victim of crime, and inevitably attract a greater number of snide looks and asides.

But I wouldn’t go back for the world.

Over a year ago I lost my iPhone. During an alarmingly boozy night which ended in a Sheffield club, reports suggest that I was spotted falling asleep against a railing with the device in my hand. All I remember is a fretful stomp around various sections of the venue, the realisation slowly dawning on me that things were not right with my pockets. They were so light. Whether I dropped the phone or it was swiped from my drooping form, the crushing sense that I was disconnected was like a cock-punch in the underpants. I was alone, scared and confused. Probably a bit cold. Even the words of real-life-people seemed to now generate the hollow ring of meaningless. “It’ll be ok”, they said.  “No It Won’t”. I wept.

So, with this troubling experience still informing my day-to-day existence, stories like this possess a particular resonance.

A bit of background.  A few months ago, Apple introduced their 3.0 iPhone software which contained a number of new and exciting features.  Upon the list, buried amongst the usual things that should have been there already section (copy and paste, MMS), was a feature called Find My iPhone.  Available to customers of Apple’s Gmail-like subscription service MobileMe, Find My iPhone purported to allow the real-time tracking of your iPhone should you misplace or lose it.  By logging into MobileMe, the service would remotely activate the phone’s GPS chip and plot its location on a Google map.  “No way would that actually work,” I thought.

But alas, in a brilliant and repeated geeks strike back narrative, stories of Find My iPhone in action started to hit the internet.  The feature seems to have provided iPhone-owners with an otherwise dormant sense of blind courageousness, which is more than a little worrying.  Regardless, the best story I’ve read so far – linked above – is like a spy story without the sexiness.  Involving a Lego convention, loss, failure, more failure and then finally success, it has it all.

Oh, and yeah, I got my iPhone back.

One Response to A heartwarming story about iPhones…

  1. Spencer says:

    Dear Philip,

    Thank you for sharing this story and filling in for me on my asbestos, I mean, sabbatical from the gadget/technology section of the Interestmentnet.

    This is a truly wonderous story and I hope that Find My iPhone will come of use to me in the future. So far, though, I’ve used it to send my girlfriend “yes, tea would be EXCELLENT” messages while I’m still in bed, hungover, on Sunday mornings.

    Oh wait, that’s totally useful!


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