Apple Patent Application Addresses Advanced 'Find My iPhone' Features and Customizability

Patently Apple reports that another newly-published patent application from Apple reveals a hint at what could be the future of the company's "Find My iPhone" functionality. The proposed enhancements offer a device's owner a great deal more control over how it can be used once it is lost or stolen, as well as providing the device with smarter capabilities for detecting unauthorized usage. Among the interesting features:

find my iphone patent unauthorized
- Unauthorized usage detection: A passcode-enabled device could be programmed to automatically increase its security level after a certain number of incorrect passcode entries, moving to further secure sensitive information stored on the device or entering a surveillance mode in which it could begin collecting and transmitting audio, video, position, and other information that might help in identifying the person in possession of the device and reuniting it with its owner.

find my iphone patent settings
- Selective data scrambling and wiping: The system could offer device owners a high level of customization regarding actions to be taken when a device is identified as lost or stolen. Beyond the basic remote lock and remote wipe features available with "Find My iPhone" today, the system could allow users to selectively wipe or scramble select content such as emails, contacts and passwords. Such a system could help a user avoid the need to completely wipe their device remotely, allowing other device functions to continue and increasing the chances of recovery.

- Limiting device functions: In addition to scrambling or wiping of data, the system could allow users to selectively turn on or off access to certain features and capabilities on a lost or stolen device. For example, the user could turn off phone, texting, or cellular data capabilities, features that could otherwise result in charges being made to the owner's account. Additional security features such as the disabling of VPN capabilities can also help protect corporate networks from intrusion in the event that a device is lost or stolen.

Tag: Patent

Top Rated Comments

Kabeyun Avatar
152 months ago
St. John Smythe = James Bond

I call first to point out that "St. John Smythe" is a reference to Roger Moore's James Bond alias in "A View To A Kill."

Resume tech thread.

:)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HelveticaNeue Avatar
152 months ago
The more features like this the better. I just wish you could report your phone as stolen and have Apple remotely brick the phone even if it had been erased and reset by the criminal, leaving it utterly useless until the rightful owner informs Apple that it has been recovered. If I can't have it no one can!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Untaken Avatar
152 months ago
Until you can remotely prevent someone from restoring the device (which so long as DFU mode exists will be impossible), these types of security measures seem sort of useless to me. Any intelligent thief (okay, so many thieves are pretty dumb) will just turn the device off after stealing it, pull the sim card then throw the device in recovery mode when they get home and restore it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Thunderhawks Avatar
152 months ago
Retina or fingerprint scanning please.

Also, wouldn' t reporting the location of where the iphone actually is bring Al Franken back for more political nonsense?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GQB Avatar
152 months ago
Al Franken should stop wasting American tax payer's money on nonsense like that. He is just desperate for attention.
Gotta love it. Tech blogs are abuzz 24/7 with warnings about privacy and analysis of how corporations are selling our identities, but if someone steps up to make manufacturers be more responsible about it, its HIM that's suddenly the bad guy.
Amazing.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zmmyt Avatar
152 months ago
good stuff, but all i want is the device to hinder me from sending unnecessary messages when i'm drunk.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

dewey airtag

Report Highlights Danger of Using AirTags for Tracking Dogs

Monday January 30, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
AirTags may be a convenient way for tracking dogs that might get off leash or otherwise lost, but there are dangers associated with the practice, as outlined by a report from The Wall Street Journal. At 1.26 inches in diameter, AirTags are able to fit easily on a dog's collar, but that size also makes the tracking devices small enough to swallow, at least for a medium to large-sized dog, and ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
MKBHD HomePod 2 White Ring Stain

New HomePod Can Still Stain Some Wooden Surfaces

Tuesday January 31, 2023 8:29 am PST by
When the original HomePod launched in 2018, it was discovered that the speaker can leave white rings on some wooden surfaces. Now, well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee has confirmed that the issue persists to a lesser extent with the new HomePod. In a side-by-side test, he showed that the white second-generation HomePod left a white ring on the wooden surface that he placed the speaker on,...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...