'Find My iPhone' may find its way into iPhone OS 3.0

At the iPhone OS 3.0 event in Cupertino, Apple announced a bevy of forthcoming feature additions and updates in the third major release of the iPhone OS. “100 new features,” they proudly said, releasing a beta version of the upcoming OS for developers to test their applications on and report problems.

Only a handful of those features were shown in the presentation this week, so iPhone OS 3.0 surely has some more tricks up its sleeves. As we’ve already reported, for instance, the 10MB limit seems to have been lifted from podcast downloads over the cellular network.

AppleInsider’s uncovered what appears to be a new feature called "Find My iPhone". It’s unknown exactly what the feature does, but the name suggests some way of getting the phone’s location remotely via MobileMe—if you happen to be a subscriber of Apple’s paid service, of course.

The new feature appears under the MobileMe account settings in the ‘Mail, Contacts, Calendars’ settings and, upon being activated, pops up a sheet asking if you want to enable the “Find My iPhone” service on your MobileMe account. Presumably, this feature will later be added to MobileMe itself, if it makes it into the shipping version of iPhone OS 3.0.

Of course, there’s a question of just how effective the supposed feature would be. For example, if thieves turn the phone off as soon as they lay their hands on it, won’t the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature be useless? And then there's the security issue: what if somebody gets into your MobileMe account—will they then be able to find your (or worse, your kid's) current location?

Still, perhaps it will help in successfully retrieving at least a few lost or stolen iPhones. But those who’ve mislaid their iPhone around their house are probably still out of luck, since the iPhone’s location features don’t get quite down to that level of accuracy at the moment.

[Picture from AppleInsider]

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