A man called Joshua got his MacBook stolen from his apartment in Oakland in March when he’s not home. He then reported it to his local police. Luckily he installed a program called Hidden, and he used it to take photos of the thief and gathered the network and location information which were sent to the police officer.
However this did not help get his laptop back, so he started a blog called this guy has my MacBook here with photos and posted it in Twitter to get media attention. This time it worked, the local police contacted him later that day and arrested the thief and got his laptop back.
Joshua is only lucky to find his Mac. If he did not care to install that software, he may never know where his laptop is, not to mention getting it back. As a matter of fact, laptops are among the most commonly stolen items, just like mobile devices. So we really should consider install some anti-theft or tracking program, and that could be the reason why Apple is to release Find My Mac.
The latest version of Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 beta allows the developers to connect to iCloud.com to look for the whereabouts of their laptops. Like Find My iPhone, it provides an approximate location of Mac if it’s connected to iCloud via WiFi.
As Mac has no GPS and could not connect to cell towers, it uses known WiFi access points to determin the location. This partly explains why Apple collects WiFi hotspot location data using their Smartphone.
Like Find My iPhone, Find My Mac lets you view the location on a map. It can also do a remote lock, and the user needs to input a four-digit pass code to unlock it. If the missing Mac could not be found and returned, a remote wipe is in place to erasing all the sensitive data. You can also send a message to the Mac screen or play a sound in case the thief is somewhere near you. However if it’s turned off, there is no way to hear the sound.
It’s unclear if the people could uninstall Find My Mac. Unlike cell phones, we can almost remove any program from PC easily, even format all the hard drives and everything will be lost include Find My Mac. In the meantime, if the thief connects Mac to a cable broadband network, Find My Mac may not be able to get the exact location information.
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