Apple makes Find my iPhone free

Find my iPhone for iPad

As part of their iOS 4.2 announcement and as previously rumored, Apple has also announced that they're making the Find my iPhone feature of MobileMe free for all users:

The Find My iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch) feature is now free to use without a MobileMe℠ subscription and helps you locate your missing device.* The Find My iPhone app is a free download on the App Store℠ and lets users easily locate a missing device on a map and have it display a message or play a sound. Users can even remotely lock or wipe data from a lost device to protect privacy.

*The free Find My iPhone feature is available for iPhone 4, iPad or new iPod touch (4th generation).

You can still use Find my iPhone on older iPhones and iPod touches but the account has to be set up on a 2010 model first. Either express your delight at having the new free service -- or your outrage at being inconveni -- in the comments!

[Apple PR]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 41 comments. Add yours.

Bryan says:

Hopefully they release something sweet for paid customers now

Boots says:

and 3gs users get dicked.

JamieW says:

Mixed feelings .... while they clearly need to step up the services to be on par with etc i'm kinda pissed that i literally last week re-up'd my service for mobileme another year

anthonok says:

Of course. Mine was stolen 2 days ago. On 4.2. Do we need the app installed to make this work?

Neil says:

Easing in that new data centre perhaps? Weird that previous models are denied.

Avenged110 says:

No support for anything but iPhone 4 (and 4th gen iPod Touch)? WTF, Apple?!?

Andrew says:

Same here, JamieW. I want my money back on the subscription. Find My iPhone is the ONLY feature of MobileMe that I use.

Kenji says:

Happy, happy, happy. #thatisall #hashtag

schrutefarms says:

Awesome! That's the only reason why I would get a mobileme account.

Jon says:

... And canceles Mobile Me subscription.

Trevor says:

Yep, bet that'll result in a boatload of MobileMe cancelations...maybe that was the plan, who knows what they're thinking. But how would Find my iDevice help iPod Touch 4?? Does it have a GPS chip??

LCW says:

Oh great... 3GS owners get screwed... So much for owning something more than a yr old with Apple...

lawls says:

When I download the app it wants me to sign into a mobile me account? Will it be updated?

Rjak says:

First major screw for us 3GS owners. It only gets worse from here.

Jaydigga says:

iPhone 3GS users "no soup for you"

Terry says:

Am able to reactivate my old account for this to work?

KC says:

No outrage - I think we're all (3GS and earlier users) used to Jobs being a colossal douche when it comes to new functionality and excluding previous customers, all in the quest for his next money fix. Totally expected. I'm surprised we even got iOS 4.2. I love my iPhone, but Android looks better on a weekly basis. Anything to monetarily express to Jobs how sick of being screwed early iDevice users are.

parabel says:

Funny, I opened the Find my iPhone app and it didn't work but only said I should update to version 1.1 but the most recent version in the store is still 1.0.1. I hope the update comes soon so that the app will work again :s

JNGold says:

WTF? There's absolutely no reason why my Wife's 3GS (or anyone's for that matter) shouldn't be able to take advantage of this. I call BS on this. There is no technical reasoning behind this decision as PAID mobile me users can use the service on a 3gs.

Scott says:

Not surprising. Been an Apple fanboy for awhile now but just jumped over to WP7. Yeah, their location feature set isn't as good as Apple's but hey, it's free along with mobile wipe, lock and ring. So I can see why Apple would release such an update...I mean who wants to be shown up by Microsoft. Leaving 3GS owners in the dust is a crappy move though. I'm still jonesin' for more apps on WP7 and hoping I don't fold and go to iPhone 4.

VidGameKing says:

Man you babies need to stop complaining about the service not being available to the 3Gs or older phones! I just upgraded my 3G to an iPhone 4 for free! I sold my old 3G on eBay for the same price as buying a new iP4! In fact I used my PayPal card to buy the iP4 in the Apple store! There's no reason to not upgrade! The 3Gs is worth even more on eBay then my old 16GB 3G you could get a 32GB iP4 for the price of selling your 16GB 3Gs! No disadvantages, I love my iPhone, I love AT&T, everything works, and it works perfectly. That is, it works perfectly for how I want to use it, and where I use it. (3G turned off, screen brightness down, no Bluetooth, wifi on @home & @work, basic phone use, some browsing, checking email, and occasionally playing solitaire.)

iDavey says:

patiently waits for the justified cries of fragmentation
This is idiotic. How can you not allow a phone a service for free that it is already able to do. Yet everyone and their mother cries about Android fragmentation. I've still never seen nothing like this yet on Android...

Federico says:

Shouldn't AT LEAST all the devices that are available NOW from Apple (like the 3GS) included on a free Find my iPhone service??? Thanks Jobs!......

parabel says:

The app update 1.1 us out now. Lame though that they immediately blocked any older version.

GraysonIP says:

Given that my phone drops almost every call that I make, and I've been quite disappointed with the whole absence/delay of the white iPhone 4, this FINALLY reflects a good move on Apple's part that makes the iPhone 4 purchases in my household more palatable.

jasonphil says:

It's cool, I'm happy about this. People should sop complaining. I don't see why older devices need to be constantly upgraded, buy the new one or shut up. It's Your choice, don't want to upgrade, too bad.

Damitol says:

...and next year when you have the iPhone 5 and I'm "stuck" with my 4 for another year, you will get cool features and updates that I will not be able to take advantage of. The difference is that I won't be on the forums whining about it - I'll just be thinking about how wickedly awesome my iPhone 6 will be, with all of the 5's features you will be enjoying plus who knows what else. Of course then you will eventually get the 7...

T-Mobile iPhone User says:

Not too upset. I already pay for MobileMe with my iPhone 3G.

Wally says:

My 3GS is less than one year old. I don't see why a feature that obviously isn't restricted to hardware, shouldn't be implemented for such a device. Wouldn't really call it "being constantly upgraded" either. This is just cheap of Apple.

screw Apple says:

Screw apple and steve jobs it a descriminaation of 3G and 3GS iphone owners the pushhing us to buy new iphone 4. I had enough of that BS I am switching to Android everything is free and for all.

Andrea.Richardson says:

@Screw apple, things in the Android are not all for free, not any more free than they are on Apple. That said, I do think that Apple should make the Find Me service available on all phones.

melb_guy says:

Wow. Apple making this feature free is great for me (with an iPhone 4). I feel sorry for people with older phone who still have to pay to get the service.

Ron says:

@screw apple, enjoy your laggy OS

Chibby007 says:

Mike from Australia, my Iphone 3GS works with the free "find my iphone" maybe its a US thing. On our carrier Telstra we also get free tethering.

John says:

I have set up a free MobileMe account on my iPhone 4 to get Find My iPhone (works great, love this feature!) and used the same Apple ID to set it up on my wife's iPhone 3GS, and it works just fine!
Actually Apple's web site (subtly) tells us to do so: check the footnote at the bottom of
And I read on Apple's forums that you can actually get a refund of your MobileMe account if you want, so that seems fair to me!

Chip chipperson says:

Who is John Galt?
It was your choice to buy and keep an apple 3 or 3G device. It is apples choice as a private corporation to only offer services to iPhone 4 users. How is this a problem? Two private entities don't owe eachother anything.

Will says:

Works great -- now I just have to have a friend with a compatible device if I lose my iphone! A good start.

Lolita Huland says:

great blog!! You could start many more. I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned.