Apple MobileMe Debuts Find My iPhone, Data-Wipe Services

The new capabilities are available on iPhones that have been upgraded to the latest 3.0 software.
Apple iPhone 3G S
(click image for larger view)
Apple iPhone 3G S

Apple on Wednesday launched the Find My iPhone and remote data-wipe services for its popular smartphone on MobileMe, the company's online file-sharing service.

The new capabilities are available on iPhones that have been upgraded to the latest 3.0 software. The platform was released this month, along with the introduction of the new iPhone 3G S, at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference. The latest smartphone is set for release June 19.

The new Find My IPhone feature for MobileMe subscribers makes it possible for them to find a lost phone on a map and to send a message or alert to the device that will play even if the smartphone is in silent mode. If the device can't be recovered because its been stolen or for some other reason, then the owner can use MobileMe to remotely wipe out all the data. The deletion can be undone if the owner later recovers the device.

In launching the new capabilities, Apple warned that high traffic may make the services temporarily unavailable. Indeed, the Find My iPhone and Remote Wipe page on MobileMe were intermittently down on Wednesday, Apple enthusiast site AppleInsider reported.

People looking to test the services sometimes received the service: "MobileMe Account is currently unavailable. We apologize for this service interruption and are working hard to resolve the problem," AppleInsider said. The delay appeared to have cleared up by midday.

While not exclusively an enterprise feature, Remote Wipe will certainly be welcomed by businesspeople who use their iPhone on the job. In general, mobile security experts say the 3.0 software is a significant improvement for the platform, but it still lacks features available in handsets more geared toward business.

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