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iPad Tutorial: Set up and use the free Find My iPad service

Locate your missing iPad, lock it and even do a remote wipe

We’ve all been in the situation where we simply can’t remember where we’ve left something.
It’s annoying, but it happens. Luckily with the upgrade to iOS 4.2, iPad owners can take advantage of the Find My iPad service. This used to be part of the paid MobileMe service, but Apple has decided that all iPad users should be entitled to find their devices when they decide to go walkies. It involves setting up a MobileMe account, which only takes a few minutes, and this is tied to your Apple ID – the one you use to make purchases on the App Store. Once the system is set up, you will be able to see where your iPad is located on a map and you can also send it a message. So if one of the kids has cheekily taken it to a friend’s house, you can tell them to get back home immediately. If something more sinister has happened and you think your iPad has been stolen, as well as giving the thief a message to alert them to the fact that you know they’ve stolen it and where they are, you can also take some really good security precautions. Firstly, you can lock the iPad so it cannot be opened by the thief. If you fear that this isn’t going to be enough to deter the thief, or you don’t anticipate being able to reclaim your iPad, then you can take the more drastic step of remotely wiping it. If you regularly back up and you do then have your iPad returned, you can restore from a backup.

1: Mail, Contacts, Calendars
Load the Settings app and then tap on ‘Mail, Contacts, Calendars’. Now tap on Add Account, select MobileMe from the list of options and sign in using the same ID you use for the App Store.

2: Verification
Verify your account and agree to the terms and conditions. The verification process can include clicking a link sent by Apple to your email address. When done, return to the MobileMe section here.

3: Tap it
Tap the button to turn Find My iPad on. In order for the service to work, you will need to ensure that Location Services are turned on. Do this by navigating to the General section in the Settings app.

4: MobileMe
Test the system by navigating to on any computer. Sign in using your Apple ID and password. You’ll then be taken to the Find My iPad section where a map will be generated.

5: Talk to it
You can send your iPad a message using the Find My iPad service. Simply click into the bubble and then write your message before hitting the Send button. You also have the option of playing a sound.

6: Maptastic – if connected
Whether a map gets generated will hinge on the iPad either having a 3G SIM card or being connected to the internet. If this is the case, then the map will appear and you can see where the device is.

Click to Enlarge Image