Apple's Find My iPhone app gets driving directions

Apple's tool for finding lost iOS devices and Macs now lets you hunt down your missing gadgets by car, with built-in driving directions.

CNET

Apple today made a slight new addition to its Find My iPhone software (iTunes), with a tweak that gives owners driving directions right to a lost device.

Under the previous system, users saw only the precise location on a map with the option to refresh. The new update shows your device's location just like a point of interest within Apple's maps software, with the option to fire up driving directions by tapping a car icon.

In practice this means you can now hunt down a device's location without having to guesstimate a location and switch over to the maps app.

There is a slight wrinkle in that plan -- specifically, that you need to have another iOS device at the ready to install the app and use it to track down your lost gadget. However, the service continues to work through Apple's iCloud.com, where it still uses mapping data from Google instead of the company's homegrown solution.

Apple initially debuted Find My iPhone as a key benefit of subscribing to its now-defunct MobileMe service, before making it free in late 2010. In recent months, the app has led to arrests in armed robbery cases in California and Georgia.

One of the weaknesses with the app is still the fact that thieves can disable it by turning off the device, a move that doesn't require the use of a security passcode. Users must also enable the app on their device through the iCloud settings.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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