Developers Create Unofficial Find My iPhone API

The iPhone is correctly credited with bringing location services to the consumer. It started at launch with Google Maps. It kicked into hyper-drive with the launch of the App Store (there are now over 2800 location-enabled apps – via Skyhook). However, there is still a step to go, the iPhone needs the ability to share your location in the background to a third-party server. This has been done for them by a couple of hackers.

Apple already tracks the location of any Mobile Me user who has enabled the feature Find My iPhone. Tyler Hall has released Sosumi, Mobile Me scraper, to Github. Sosumi can access a user’s location and send messages to the iPhone.

So what does this mean? For “normal” users absolutely nothing. Just like Google Latitude’s nascent Location API this is really just a proof of concept application for developers. Before a Mobile Me Location API will get widespread use it will need OAuth, the ability to control the accuracy of my location data, and reminders and, most significantly, it will need Apple’s official sanctioning.

findmy iphone

Since it’s launch the Find My iPhone has been used to track movers and to catch a thief. It’s time for that data to be opened up properly as a service. Sites and apps like Loopt, Pelago, Fire Eagle or any of the other services that will take advantage of a user’s location history to offer analytics, and alerts.

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  • alex

    Although I think this is a super application in that it can be used to catch a thief, does it not further invade our privacy. Do we really need this to made mainstream?

  • brian d foy

    I actually wanted to use the “Find my IPhone” feature a couple of weeks ago. I had left my iPhone somewhere during a trip. A friend had an iPhone, so I thought I’d just use Safari to access my MobileMe account and get the answer.

    However, Apple detects that I’m accessing MobileMe from an iPhone and tells me to use the applications on my iPhone to access MobileMe.

    This problem isn’t unique to Apple, though. Many sites are creating crippleware mobile sties, making my iPhone much less useful. At least Gmail lets me choose the Desktop or Mobile version.

  • http://www.javarants.com Sam

    If Java is more your language, I have some code up as well:

    http://www.javarants.com/2009/07/03/creating-a-json-web-service-api-for-find-my-iphone/

    Sam

  • Tom

    Just get the fakeweb app and use it to browse to me.com. A little klunky, but it works in a pinch. You’d think Apple would come out with an app that hooks directly into their “Find my iPhone” servers. They’ll probably make us pay to get it.

  • Major

    Oh, great!! Another company with a server the goober-ment can supeopena and get a search warrent to snoop on private citizens!!

  • Major

    Oh, great!! Another company with a server the goober-ment can supeopena and get a search warrent to snoop on private citizens!!

  • Deeray

    Good grief. I work for the government and we really could care less where you are or where you go. Lighten up.

  • Minor

    Yeah, me too. Lighten up … and by the way, could you move about 3 steps to the right. You’re standing in front of one of the people we are actually interested in keeping tabs on. ;-)

  • http://www.rti-net.com/Apps.aspx Francois Robert

    A good lock screen + honesty will help

    Even with “Find my iPhone”, it is always a good idea to set an explicit Lock Screen, with a phone number to reach you.

    You can do it by creating an image from your PC or directly on your iPhone/iPad with my app. See: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/a-signature/id409956176