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Finding an iPhone the old-fashioned way


Ben Patterson and his wife learned a hard lesson on using Find My iPhone after traveling to Manhattan's East Village to visit a friend. After a lovely evening, they hopped from one cab to another as they traveled back to Brooklyn. His wife froze with fear when she realized her iPhone was missing. All her contacts, emails, photos and more were likely in the backseat of another cab and possibly in the hands of a stranger.

The couple fired up the Find My iPhone app on Patterson's iPhone 4 and was disappointed to discover his wife's phone was not being tracked. There was no way to find it, lock it or wipe it. Patterson remembered setting up the tracking service, but he never double-checked to make sure it was working. Now that the iPhone was gone, it was too late.

The pair followed the standard protocol for handling a lost phone. They called the cab company, but got nowhere since they did not have a cab number or any identifying information. Then they called AT&T and both deactivated the SIM card and reported the phone missing. She fired up an old iPhone 3GS and moved on.

Almost a week later, she received a phone call from an unusual number. She answered the call and was shocked to discover it was a sales associate from a local AT&T store. They had her phone! A young woman had found it in the back of the cab and returned the phone to the store. For once, it wasn't technology like Find My iPhone that led to the return of a missing phone, but the kindness of strangers.

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