Six things every new iPad (or iPhone) owner should do immediately

Six things every new iPad (or iPhone) owner should do immediately

Summary: Just get a new iPad (or iPhone)? Here are a few critical things that you should do right now to keep your new gadget safe and your privacy protected.

TOPICS: Apple, iPhone, iPad

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  • Enable Find My iPhone or iPad

    Find My iPhone used to be a paid service but it's now free and it allows you to locate your iPad (or iPhone) on a map when it's lost - or more likely, misplaced in your house, movie theatre or Chic-Fil-A.

    First, log into your iCloud account or create a new one in Settings > iCloud > Account. Then slide the switch for Find My iPhone to ON. When you misplace your iPhone or iPad, use any web brower to access, log in and click the icon for Find My iPhone. From there you have several choices:

    1. Play Sound, which is super useful for finding it when it's lost in your house
    2. Lock Mode allows you to display a message on the lock screen with a contact number. Then whoever finds it can call you without accessing the rest of the information on your device.
    3. Erase iPhone, which completely wipe it of all information. 

    Find My iPhone will also send you email messages confirming your actions and notifying you of the status of your device.

    Find My iPhone helped me recover my iPhone 4 when it was picked up by a stranger in Hollywood Studios Orlando and I've used it to find my parent's iPhones several times.

    Bonus points: For extra security, you can prevent a saavy thief from disabling Find My iPhone by turning on Restrictions and locking changes to Location Services. Here's how to do it:

    • Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions (enter your passcode)
    • If restrictions are not enabled, choose the 'Enable Restrictions' option and then create a 4-digit PIN code and confirm it.
    • Then scroll to Privacy > Location Services and touch Don't Allow Changes

    If you don't take this step, a savvy thief that takes your phone before the auto-lock engages can simply turn off Find My iPhone just as fast as you activated it. When Don't Allow Changes is enabled, the Find My iPad section of Settings > iCloud is greyed out and it can't be switched off.

    Update: An important new feature called "Activation Lock" was added to Find my iPhone in iOS 7, which I cover next...

  • Enable Activation Lock in iOS 7

    iOS 7 includes a new feature called Activation Lock, which makes it almost impossible for anyone to use or sell your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch once it's gone missing or has been stolen.

    It starts working when you turn on Find My iPhone in iOS 7 Settings > iCloud > Find my iPhone (see previous Gallery item). With Activation Lock, your Apple ID and password will be required before anyone can:

    • Turn off Find My iPhone on your device
    • Erase your device
    • Reactivate and use your device

    Activation Lock has been heralded by big city police departments (like the NYPD) as a potential deterrent to the increase in "Apple Picking" -- snatch and grab iPhone thefts in the United States. 

    Activation Lock keeps the data on your device secure, even if it is in the wrong hands. It also improved your chances of recovery dramatically. Even if you erase your iPhone remotely, Activation Lock prevents another user from reactivating it without your permission -- effectively destroying its resale value.

    To take advantage of this new feature, simple keep Find My iPhone turned on (Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone), and remember your Apple ID and password. One word of caution: there's no way to override Activation Lock if you forget your password and are unable to reset it.

    There's an Activation Lock overview and Frequently Asked Questions document in Apple Knowledgebase document ht5818. I also recommend that you read these tips on how to prevent Activation Lock from potentially bricking your iPhone.

Topics: Apple, iPhone, iPad

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  • AppleCare

    Whilst Apple have to provide a 2 year warranty on their hardware, in the case of the iPhone, the AppleCare warranty is useful. Here in Germany, if the iPhone stops working, you either have to bring it to a carrier shop or use their telephone service to get it fixed.

    This normally takes 2 weeks, during which time, you will be without your beloved iPhone. The AppleCare warranty brings the repair service into line with other manufacturers, meaning that you will receive a replacement phone when they collect your defective one.

    An expensive way to get the standard of service the other manufacturers provide for free, but given the reliability of the iPhones we've had, it is worth the money. One user here has a had 7 replacement iPhones in 2 years, 6 were hardware defects, the 7th due to the phone being dropped.

    I didn't have AppleCare with my iPhone 3GS and spent 6 of the first 7 weeks of ownership without the phone as it was sent off to the Apple repair centre 3 times without them finding the fault and returning it unrepaired! After the last failed attempt, they "graciously" replaced it, after I made a very loud comments about their incompetence in a very full shop.
    • What you're saying is

      your iPhone and that of the other person you mentioned are crap. Six hardware defects in 2 years? Yours being repeatedly sent to Apple without being repaired. Gee, it sounds to me like the best protection for Apple products is not to buy them.

      Have a nice day,

      • start with step 3 above...

        Wipe the phone,
        Then run, do not walk, to the nearest Best Buy and trade it in for another phone that's not an iPhone.

        Much simpler :-)
    • Fandoid script

      Uh huh.

      I had to replace exactly two iPhones in all the years I owned them (4s), both because an iHome alarm clock killed the 30 pin connectors.

      Well, that's not quite true. My brand new iPhone 4 fell out of my pocket while blowing snow one especially snowy winter, and was buried in front of my house. Find my iPhone found it in front of my house, but I couldn't for the life of me locate it, even playing sounds.

      It mocked me for three days before running out of juice. It was discovered by my snow thrower's auger a couple of weeks later, and its desiccated bones were left the next spring on my front lawn once the snow pack melted.
      • fell out of your pocket while blowing snow?

        I didn't know that there was a snow blower app for that! :)
  • LOL!

    the first thing that you want to do with your new 'iCrap' is don't tell anybody. Secondly, go out and find a cover for it so no-one can tell what it is!
    • lol lol

      Im not sure I can be bothered to read articles which arent relevant to my interests let alone bother to make the effort to comment. Why not use your time more efficiently and take this much interest in articles about the device you actually own?
      • Follow The Money

        It's because Mujibahr and other 3rd worlders are being paid by Samsung to disparage Apple products in public forums. This seems to be a new front in the Apple - Samsung war, which Apple has declined to participate in. In the end, Samsung's nefarious ways will turn out to be the best sales tool for Apple products ever.
        • Andriod is like a Brothel

          Anyone can go in and F any one. Apple is not like that. you need to have the credentials to use one :)
        • More likely Microsoft, rather than Samsung...

          Yes! There are a lot of paid shills (or astroturfers) here on ZDNet (and other blogs). I think Mujibhar is more Microsoft than Samsung. Have a look at his other posts! Very pro Windows 8.
          I am Gorby
          • aren't you not one of the astroturfer

            for your beloved platform? think about it before blaming someone without knowing the other person.
            Ram U
          • Yup, because no one would ever have a negative opinion of an Apple product

            unless (of course) they are PAID to have a negative opinion by a competitor.

            Because we all know that Apple and there products are 100% devoid of any issues, defects, or shortcomings, so who would ever have anything other then glowing praise for them?
    • Hmm

      You sound disgruntled Mujibahr.. Does your camel not have Wi-Fi service?? Sorry to hear that.. now get back under your box unless you have something constructive to add.
  • Number 1 should be

    Trade it in for an Android, with numbers 2-6 being an Android buyers guide :-D
    • Almost

      Trade in for 2 more powerful devices (mini to N7 or i4 to N10) and share one with your friends. After all it is the season.
    • trade magazine

      ((( "Trade it in for an Android..." )))

      That would be like trading in a signed first edition of Huckleberry Finn for a stack of People magazines.
  • Find my iPad/iPhone - critical additional step

    I'm not normally one for online comments, but this is really important. In addition to the steps outlined above for Find My iPhone, you should go to Settings>General>Restrictions, scroll down to Privacy, and then tap Location Services. Tap Don't Allow Changes - if you don't take this step, a savvy thief that takes your phone before the auto-lock engages can simply turn off Find My iPhone as fast as you activated it.

    In my opinion, this is a bug apple needs to fix - there should be a separate "lock" you can enable on Find My iPhone. Adding this restriction requires you to visit this area every time you add a new app and want to allow it to use location services. Until Apple fixes this though, it is a worthwhile inconvenience.
    • Agreed...

      You're absolutely correct. Although I've found a similar but simpler way (at least on OS 6, not sure about earlier versions) that allows you to avoid locking down location services, meaning you don't have to keep enabling and disabling them every time you want to install an app that uses them.

      Go to Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions. You will be asked to enter a four-digit passcode and then confirm it. After that's done, if a thief makes off with your iPhone, he won't even make it to the Restrictions page without knowing the passcode. So he won't be able to disable the "find my iPhone" function.
      Minit Mafia
      • Not so Agreed...,

        If a thief makes off with your iPhone, he just needs to put it in DFU mode and wipe it. Very simple, pretty quick, and find my iPhone wont work.
        • Keep upto date

          That all changed in ios7

          -you need the apple id password to turn off find my iphone toggle in icloud settings

          -dfu'ing no longer gets around the lock; once dfu is complete the device will not activate without the apple id password

          -if find my iphone is enabled you can no longer swap the phone at a genius bar without proof of ownership if find my iphone is on (and you don't know the password)