Help, I’ve Lost My iPhone

Apple has a nice feature of iCloud that allows you to find your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Macintosh on a Map if it is lost or stolen called “Find My Phone”. But what if you lose your iPhone and have not set this up in advance? Fortunately for you there’s an alternative. It only works if you have more than one phone on your AT&T account. It works even if you do not have an iPhone on AT&T. I do not know what the other carriers offer. The feature is called FamilyMap. It typically costs $10 per month so it is more expensive than Apple’s free iCloud. It does offer Geo-fences for your phones based on the time of day. And it can be turned on after you have lost your phone.

In order to prove your identity AT&T sends an text message to your phone. This is not helpful if you have already lost your phone. You can have that password sent to another phone on your same billing account. Once your account is created, you can use AT&T’s network to locate your lost phone. If the phone has a GPS and that information is shared with the network then the location can be known to a few feet. Without GPS it will give you a rough estimate.

Family map is free for 30 days if you cancel during the trail period. It does not offer the other features that iCloud has such as remotely wiping or putting a message up on the screen but it is a good alternative if you have already lost your phone.

Chronicle is Refreshing

The new movie Chronicle takes the ‘found footage’ meme to a new level mixing it with a superhero genesis story. The story follows three high school kids as they learn that they have telekinesis but still have to go to class. One character, Andrew, buys a video camera and documents his own experience. This footage is mixed in with video from other cameras including security cameras, cell phone cameras, TV film cameras, and Police dashboard cameras as if someone had gathered all the footage together afterward to create this chronicle of what happened.This is not a new premise. We’ve seen other teenagers get saddled with the burden of telekinetic power in movies like Zapped (Scott Baio) and Modern Problems (Chevy Chase). At the beginning it feels a bit like Cloverfield but the filming style gets better quickly enough and even that is explained in the story. We’ve seen the found footage done to death but it works here and does not get in the way of the story. Like Cloverfield, our perspective is limited to what the characters can see. Law enforcement and adults are present in the story but we never get to see their view. We don’t know if someone has found the meteor since they discovered it. I kept waiting for another character to show up.

There is a sub-plot involving Andrew’s home life. It is disturbing and believable. I wanted Andrew to try to use his power to help his mother. Likewise, why didn’t these guys realize they could win at the Roulette wheel? One highlight of the film is the talent show.

In some ways the story reminded me of Unbreakable where I would like to see the next chapter in the story. I don’t know if there will be a sequel but the story would support it. If you think of it as a superhero genesis story then you can see the foundation is set for Matt to do something in the next film. With this film as a back story you know the character would be very cautious to not let the power get the best of him.