Saturday night, my wife and I got a “date night” – we dropped the kids off, and headed to a “gourmet mexican restaurant” with plans on walking to the local bookstore afterwards. I had brought along my iPad. We finished up dinner, paid, and walked out. It only took me about 7 minutes to realize I didn’t have my iPad, so we went right back to the restaurant. We discovered not only that the iPad was gone, but our entire table had been removed! We quickly talked to the manager who took my number and said he would call if they found it.
Dejected, we headed straight home. Though Apple offers the ability to track your iPad/iPhone, they only do it if you pony up the $99 per year for MobileMe, who’s features I don’t use. But the ability to pull the phone up on a map and remotely wipe it seemed quite worth it.
Luckily, I remembered that since my iPad syncs to Exchange, that I should still be able to remotely wipe it through Exchange. So as soon as we got home I logged in to Outlook Web Access, clicked on Options-Mobile Devices, clicked on my iPad and issued the wipe command. Within about 20 minutes I got an email confirmation that the device had been wiped. I then set out prepping the paperwork to file a police report the next day.
The next morning I called the restaurant and to my great delight, they had the iPad! One of their bussers had turned it in, and they had it in the safe. I immediately came by and picked it up, thanking them for finding it.
Upon receipt, I noticed that the stickers I had on the case had been removed. Which is odd if someone just found it and turned it in. But even better, when I turned on the device, it had the “Activate on iTunes” icon meaning, like a brand new one, you couldn’t do anything with it until you had sync’d it to iTunes.
My guess is that someone did indeed find it and set it aside, but when they went to look at it later, it had already been wiped and probably concerned them, so they “turned it in”. I wouldn’t have suspected that if the stickers hadn’t been taken off the case, but it seems too suspicious otherwise.
So, yea for having Exchange sync, and yea for Microsoft making sure that security realms were in place for syncing. And yea for Apple for supporting it. Now if only I could do just the track phone feature of MobileMe for $20 a year, it would be wonderful icing on the cake.