Tuesday, August 13, 2013

iPhone Lost and Found

Some days, I am not sure exactly what to write about and then something happens that solves that problem.  That is exactly what happened this evening.

I lost my iPhone.

I was not happy.  No one is happy when they lose their phone.  Not having it and not knowing exactly where it is simply reminds us how dependent we are on these devices.  My iPhone is also my business number.  It is my primary phone I use to keep in touch with friends and family.  I text using my phone.  I manage four email accounts with the phone.  I was not happy at all.

I knew the phone was in one of three locations.  I first went to a supermarket to buy a fruit plate for a networking event I was planning to attend.  The networking event itself was at a driving range and miniature golf course that oddly had no windmill.  After the fun networking event, I went Kohl's as they were having a big sale.  I knew the phone was at one of these three locations.  

I suspected the phone was somewhere Kohl's for two reasons, First, I was fairly certain I had my phone before going into the store.  But then, I just turned 60 and this had all the ear markings of those senior moments I have heard so much about, so I had some doubts.  Secondly, it was a cool evening and I was wearing a windbreaker.  My phone was in the pocket of the jacket.  I had taken the jacket off in Kohl's and drapped it over a number of racks, as I tried on some blazers and sport coats.  The phone may have fallen out of the pocket.

When I left Kohl's, I realized that I did not have my phone.  First, I looked in the car thinking I might have left it there.  No luck.  I went back into Kohl's and looked on the floor around the racks I had draped my jacket.  No luck.  I looked twice because, for me, things sometimes magically reappear on a second look.  Again, no luck.  The nice ladies in the store helped me look.  One of them suggested that I call it.  This would not work as my phone was on silent.  Dang.

It was 9 pm, so I decided to go home after leaving them my contact information if they should find the phone.  I would deal with it in the morning.  But, I was not happy and I was stewing.  

Then it struck me, there is an app just for this.  I remember activating it when I bought my iPad and registering both the phone and pad.  Cool.  I had never had a chance to use it.  So, I went to the "Find iPhone" app and logged in.  It searched for awhile and showed a blinking green dot on the map where my phone was.  The map wasn't definitive but it was at Kohl's.  

I called the store to see if they had any news.  They did not, but I learned they were open to 11 this week. So, I decided to return to the store and search more diligently.  On the way to the store, I figured the app had to have some way to lead me to it.

Once at the store, I looked at the app again and saw I could locate any device I had registered.  In my case, I had registered both my phone and my pad.  I activated both and saw I was close.  The app only got me close.  Basically, within 50 yards or so.  I selected iPhone again and a window popped up that offered three options:  play sound, lost mode, and erase iPhone.  Hmmm... Play sound.  I wondered if that would work for a phone that was on silent?  I hit the button and waited with the option was activated.  I heard a faint beeping.  I walked in the direction of the sound.  I was close.  Voila!  There was my phone not on the floor but on the rack of dark sport coats.  It was sitting on the shoulder of the sport coats.  My theory was partially correct.  The phone fell out of the pocket of my jacket, it just never fell to the floor where I had focused my earlier search.

I felt much better.  I still felt silly for losing the phone, but I felt it was less of a senior moment given the higher tech way I found it.  

They really are smart phones!

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