My wfe’s iPhone stolen: Anyone know how to have Find My iPhone “auto refresh” the location? - Macenstein

My wfe’s iPhone stolen: Anyone know how to have Find My iPhone “auto refresh” the location?

Well, this evening the Bride of Macenstein’s iPhone was stolen. While I was of course pissed, I was also thrilled at the prospect of using Find My iPhone to find the thing. We’re in a relatively wussy, crime free town, so I figured it would be kids who took her bag and it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Long story short, we tracked the iPhone down to a restaurant, but were of course unable to actually go around shaking down the help and patrons, even with the police helping. Since Find My iPhone really only gives a ballpark location, the cops said there wasn’t much they could do. And while I am now 90% positive it is one of the kids who works at the place who has it, I can’t prove it, and with us and the cops walking around (and one of the cops telling two of the more unsavory employees that I was able to track the iPhone to this location) whoever had the iPhone apparently turned it off, and my location updates stopped.

So, my question is, does anyone know of a way to have Find My iPhone, via the app, or via MobileMe, do some sort of “autorefresh” of the location search, so if they ever DO turn on the iPhone, briefly to wipe it or such, I can get a new bead on the location? Right now it appears I have to relaunch the app on the iPhone to get it to update locations, and the same with the MobileMe page. (Can I make an autorefresh Safari url automator action somehow? Will it keep me logged in to MobileMe if it runs every 30 seconds?) Any ideas would be helpful, thanks.

Update: I got my autorefresh script going, so we’ll see…
– The Doc

11 Responses to “My wfe’s iPhone stolen: Anyone know how to have Find My iPhone “auto refresh” the location?”
  1. Chris Headley says:

    While you were there in the restaurant, you could have sent a forced message with audible chime to identify the thief.

    As for now, I would think the only thing you can do is periodically check in on it and hope for another opportunity to use the forced audible message trick. When you click on display message or play sound, it will play the sound for 2 minutes EVEN IF THE PHONE IS ON VIBRATE — that should pretty much identify the thief.

  2. Yeah, I did that, we couldn’t hear anything, it was a pretty loud restaurant, and as I said, I think it was one of the help vs a customer who was eating, so it would be out back, or in the kitchen.

    – The Doc

  3. Craig says:

    “two of the more unsavory employees…”. Wow.

  4. @Craig,

    What can I say? Some people look extra scumbaggish when you’re looking for stolen property.
    – The Doc

  5. The Captain says:

    I was going to write basically what Chris said, keep sending the audio tone & message. Also let the management at the restaurant know it was “someone who works there” because you can track the phone and it’s only a matter of time when you’ll be able to narrow it down, so you hope they are not harboring them in anyway.
    I stick with MobileMe for the tracking plus, if need be you can swipe clean your wife’s data.
    Most times it’s someone that works there.. I get that all the time… I’m a cop.

  6. winteregel says:

    There’s a Firefox plugin that you can set at any custom interval, which refreshes the page and checks it for changes and which plays a sound for you when it does find a change (of course the page can’t be flash).

    If you just want to refresh, google “safari auto-refresh plugin” and I’m sure you’ll find one 🙂

    Oh, and do I not remember correctly that since the original iPhone there’s a feature to wipe it (either Microsoft Exchange or MobileMe took care of that) and brick it, so it became useless to whoever took it (taking it into an Apple Store would then set of the alarm)?

    Good luck with the hunt!

  7. Dave says:

    Sorry Doc,

    Hope you catch em and publicly flog em.

  8. Raptormd says:

    I will say I was not overly joyed by Apples recent patent (i.e Big Jobs locking my iPhone) BUT this whole story changes my view. It would be great if you could force it to turn on and play a specific tune at fully volume without the ability to turn it off unless you can enter a code to stop it. Hopefully iPhone 5 will have some updated find my iPhone features.

  9. Michael Rodgers says:

    any update on this? we’re all hopin for ya…

  10. Ariel says:

    Next time try this app.

    Device Locator: Track and Locate Your Lost or Stolen iPhone + Google Latitude Integration

    Amazing Apple allowed it to be released it directly competes with Mobile Me and I think it’s much better and at a fraction of the price.

  11. Joey says:

    My phone changed the Find My iPhone settings constantly after an iOS 7 upgrade. The GPS tracking (not WiFi) self enabled/disabled. Upon checked with Apple it was an internal reboot caused by changing cell parameters when on the Highway or Interstate.

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