iPhone GPS Tracker as Background Application

A good friend of mine recently had his iPhone stolen. At WWDC a new feature was released that would have helped him, had he been a member of MobileMe. But here’s a solution for those without MobileMe.

If you have a jailbroken iPhone, it’s possible to run an application available by default on Cydia called “findmyi”. Using the web interface you’re able to mark your iPhone as stolen and review a map with it’s location. The findmyi GPS agent runs in the background and contacts the server at the interval specified in the options menu to record its location. Free accounts are given an estimated location, and upgrading appears to be rather simple. It also allows you to place a message on your iPhone asking for the current user to contact the owner should you wish to.

That feature to me seems a bit counter intuitive. I’d rather just track the phone without notifying anyone that I’m following them. They would just turn the phone off at that time, and probably figure out how to wipe it. Also, using this application as soon as you mark a phone stolen, it sends you an e-mail stating that fact. If you have your e-mail account attached to your iPhone… and who doesn’t? … that would also alert the thief that you’re tracking him/her.

Obviously one of your first steps after losing a phone should be to change the password of your associated email accounts.

If you’ve already jailbroken your iPhone, it’s very easy to install and try out.