Apple announced iOS 4.2.1 today and buried within the press release is the news that its Find My iPhone service will no longer require the $99 yearly MobileMe subscription.The free service allows you to communicate with your iOS device when it has been lost or stolen. Using a web interface, you can find your device on a map, lock it remotely, play a sound, or even remotely wipe the device.
To use the service, you will need an iPhone 4, iPad, or an iPod Touch 4th generation with iOS 4.2.1 and the Find My iPhone/iPad/iPod app which will be available for free as a download from iTunes. Presumably, the updated version of the app will be available later today when Apple rolls out the iOS 4.2.1 update.
While rumors last week hinted at Apple offering MobileMe as a free service, Apple is apparently not ready to go full-bore with the free service. With the changes to this iOS-based remote service, Apple is taking the consumer-friendly portion of MobileMe and making it free for the consumer. This move will please many consumers and will help Apple stay one step ahead of other mobile platforms like Windows Phone, which also offers a similar remote location service for free.