How Accurate Is Find My iPhone in 2021?

Find My iPhone app, the one place to find your Apple devices. On iOS 13 or later, iPad and macOS Catalina or later, the Find My iPhone app has been upgraded to the new Find My app. whereas the iOS 12 or earlier and macOS Mojave or earlier still runs the Find My iPhone app. The Find My iPhone or new Find My app lets you find your mislaid or stolen devices; if you have already enabled the Find My on your device. But have you wondered how accurate is find my iPhone? You might have! So let’s discern.

Find My iPhone Attributes

Before getting to know how accurate is Find My iPhone or Find My app, let’s have a peek at its recovery features or attributes. It is quite possible that you may mislay your device somewhere or someone robs your device. If you had already enabled the Find My on your device, using Find My iPhone or Find My app or signing into iCloud.com you can do the following.

1. Locate Your Device

Using Find My iPhone or the new Find My app, you may track and locate your devices easily on the map by signing into iCloud.com or on the app. Even with the battery level critically low, your device may also mark its last location so that once it runs out of power, the last marked location might help you to find your device.

The new Find Me; the upgraded version of Find My iPhone will also let you locate your device even if it’s offline or sleeping.

2. Play A Sound

Sometimes, you may have mislaid your device nearby or you are somewhat nearby your device but still can’t find it out. In that case, you may use the ‘Play A Sound’ feature which will play a sound or beep on your device so that if you’re nearby, you may find it out easily.

3. Lost Mode

Enabling the Lost Mode will lock down your device immediately and also allow you to display a message on your device’s lock screen. For e.g., you may display a message ‘My phone has been lost. Anyone finding it, please call me on **********‘. So that if anyone finds it, they will be able to call you without accessing your device. Lost Mode feature will be only available on the iPhone (iOS 6 or later), iPad, iPod touch, and Apple Watch.

4. Remote Erase

If you strongly believe that your device has been fallen to the wrong hand or someone has robbed your device and you fear that your personal data are at risk, you can erase all of your data on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, or Mac remotely.

5. Activation Lock

Activation Lock is turned on automatically when you enable the Find Mine on your device. Once Activation Lock is turned on, your Apple ID and password will be then required to disable Find My, erase or reactivate the device. Even if you have erased your device remotely, Activation Lock can still continue to deter anyone other than you from reactivating and using your device.

How Does It Exactly Work?

The Find My iPhone or the new Find My app uses Apple’s location services to locate a particular device. Apple’s location services use Cell sites, WiFi hotspots, GPS, and Bluetooth to find out a device’s approximate location.

By multilateration of the radio signals between several cell sites and the device or computing the broadcasted information from the nearby cell sites by Apple-developed algorithms, the approximate location will be determined by the device. And once connected to an Internet connection, the same will be updated on iCloud so that one may track their device.

The Find My iPhone or the new Find My app may also use the nearby WiFi hotspots to determine a device’s approximate location. By computing the broadcasted information from the nearby WiFi hotspots by Apple-developed algorithms, the approximate location will be determined which will be then updated on iCloud.

GPS might be also used to determine the approximate location of the device. Constant signals are sent out from 30+ GPS satellites revolving around the earth. The GPS receiver on a particular device will determine its distance from the GPS satellite upon receiving these signals from the GPS satellites. And once the device determines its distance from at least 4 or more GPS satellites, the device will figure out its location.

The approximate location of a device can be also figured out even if it’s offline or sleeping. The device will send out Bluetooth signals which can be detected by the other Apple devices in use nearby. These devices will then relay the detected location of the particular device to iCloud. The location or Identity of any other users or devices participating is protected with advanced end-to-end encryption.

All the other features will also need an Internet connection to be effected on the device. If the device has no access to an Internet connection, the particular feature will be affected on the device once it gets access to an Internet connection.

How Accurate is Find My iPhone?

As Find My iPhone or Find My app uses Cell sites, WiFi hotspots, GPS, Bluetooth, and Internet connection for locating a device or to run the other features, the accuracy also depends on the same i.e. if your device can access more of these, the more accurate it will be.

 

For e.g., if your device is in an area where there are no WiFi hotspots or GPS signals available, but uses only the Cell sites to determine the location, the determined location will be not much accurate compared to a location determined using WiFi hotspot, GPS, and Cell sites.

The Find My iPhone or Find My app is much accurate in most of the or ideal cases.

How to Know If It’s Accurate?

  • A green dot represents the most accurate.

  • A green dot bounded by a larger green circle refers to not much accurate but mostly within the larger green circle.

  • A grey dot or grey dot bounded by a larger grey circle refers to no location found i.e. the location of the device can’t be found for some reason.

Conclusion

Please to be noted that location data is retained only for a maximum of 24 hours on the Apple servers. Well, this is all about how accurate is Find My iPhone or the new Find My App. Hope you find it useful and please let us know if you have any doubts in the comments section below.

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