What Is The Difference Between The Find My iPhone App and the Find My iPhone Service ?

In our How To Track Your iPhone page we explain how to configure your iCloud account and iPhone or iPad to use the Find My iPhone service to track your device.  The biggest question and source of confusion for many users is what is the difference between the Find My iPhone configuration and the Find My iPhone App

This page will explain the difference between the Find My iPhone App and the "Configuration"

 

Watch the video version:

 

Find My iPhone - THE SERVICE

Find My iPhone is an iCloud service offered by Apple to help locate your iPhone or iPad (and now even your Mac!) should you misplace it.  In order to use the Find My iPhone service, you must configure/set it up on your device.  Once configured you can then use a PC, Mac or another iPhone to track and locate the device.

To Configure Find My iPhone you must go into your iPhone settings and enter your iCloud username and password, then make sure that Find My iPhone is enabled:

Find my iPhone settingsiCloud Settings

Now that Find My iPhone is enabled, the iPhone or iPad is trackable via the iCloud Web page or via the Find My iPhone App on another device.

It is important to note that you must configure the iCloud Find My iPhone service BEFORE you lose your device or before it gets stolen.  There is no way to remotely configure Find My iPhone after your iPhone is gone! 

 

Find My iPhone - The APP

The Find My iPhone AppThe Find My iPhone App is a free iPhone and iPad app from Apple that allows you to track and locate a device that has been configured to use the Find My iPhone service:

If you misplace your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, the Find My iPhone app will let you use another iOS device to find it and protect your data. Simply install this free app on another iOS device, open it, and sign in with your Apple ID. Find My iPhone will help you locate your missing device on a map.

As you can see from Apple's description of the app above, the Find My iPhone App is used to locate another device - it is important to note that installing Find My iPhone (the App) on your phone or iPad DOES NOT MAKE IT TRACKABLE -  Installing the Find My iPhone App only allows you to track another device that has been pre-configured with the Find My iPhone service as mentioned above, and on this page: Track your iPhone

 

 

 

Summary:

  • The Find My iPhone service must be configured on your device BEFORE it can be tracked
  • The Find My iPhone App is used to track another device - and does not in itself make a device trackable
  • The Find My iPhone service is intended to help locate a misplaced device, not to track and confront thieves - leave that to the professionals!

 

   

   

Comments

is the 3GS running iOS6 ?

Hi i have an Iphone4 an 3GS and an Ipad all of them in one single icloud accont all god find my iphone app. but i can not find on map the 3Gs one when i looking for. it appear off line, what can i do to find also the 3GS phone.

Based on the testing I have done, when logging in to the iCloud website via web-browser no pop ups, email or other notifications are sent.

When using Find My iPhone from the Find My iPhone app or via the iCloud website there is no notification but by default the small Location Services arrow icon will appear in the upper right of the iPhone (or iPad/iPod) near the clock. When checking in Settings|Privacy|Location Services, it is then possible to see that Find My iPhone is currently or was recently used.

If I log into www.icloud.com from a windows PC, will my wife get a popup or email notification? If after logging onto www.icloud.com and click "find my iphone" will she get a popup or email notification. All this from my windows PC?

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