Losing my iPad is like losing my head. I’m that attached to it. But, it happened.
How could I be so out of my head that I lost touch with my iPad for long enough for it to go missing? Here’s how: I was at a weekend-long film festival. I was sleep deprived. My head was awhirl with images and ideas and sounds and discussions of French films. I was leaving early in the morning and returning, exhausted, late at night.
But, the first night it was missing, and the next morning, I knew. Oh, I knew. Every night I sleep with my iPad, read on my iPad and, yes, play some games on my iPad. Every morning I edit bloggers on my iPad, check Flipboard and Stitcher and The New Yorker on my iPad, and look at Facebook and Twitter on my iPad. I take it with me everywhere I go for INRIX traffic, to compare its GPS with my Garmin’s GPS on tricky trips, to look up things on the Internet. I turn it off one second before I fall asleep. I turn it on three seconds after I wake up. I know. I need a boyfriend. But I want my iPad!
I discovered just how dependent I am on my iPad. I knew it probably wasn’t stolen, that I’d probably just set it down absent-mindedly on my way out of the house, or left it in the glove compartment of my friend’s car or . . . or, what, besides those two options? After more than 24 hours and repeated calm searching followed by some yanking of drawers and throwing of papers, I really began to . . . worry.
Then I remembered the Apple service Find My iPhone (or iPad). I knew I didn’t know how to use it handily, but by Monday morning I was refreshed, and panicked, enough to find out. Turns out, it’s super easy! You just go to iCloud on the Internet, and select Find My iPhone. And the current location of your iPad shows up via GPS on a map! COOL!
HORRORS! It’s 15 miles away in northern Greenwich. My mind starts racing. Can I get the address behind the glowing green dot on the map? No. OK. Think, Susan. Now what? Ah, it seems to be a cul-de-sac. Maybe I can drive there and knock on people’s doors until someone looks uncomfortable and I bust them! “You’ve got my iPad, don’t you!” Hmmmm. No, I don’t think I could pull that off.
Wait. The green dot is moving. A dotted orange line indicates it’s moving at the speed of a car. I’d already selected a Lock Down option, complete with a self-selected 4-digit code to reactivate it when I got it back. If I got it back. And, the thief must have seen that I’d locked it down and sent the message, “This is a lost iPad. Please call the owner at 555-555-5555.” (Yes, that’s my real telephone number. Go ahead. Call me now. I dare you.) The thief got spooked and is flying the coup! I’m on to him! (Note: “Thieves” are aways “hims” even if they’re not necessarily “men.” Don’t ask.)
Oh look! The orange line is turning east on the Post Road. Wait a minute. That means it’s coming toward me. What if the thief found my address in there somehow and is coming over to my house? To get me! I run upstairs, jump in the shower, get dressed, and put on some make-up. Just in case. Then I decide to try another feature: Play Sound. I click on it.
One-two-three. The phone rings. It’s my friend Chris calling from her car. I’d emailed her earlier to let her know there was a thief with my iPad, that my worst fears had been confirmed by the Find My iPad app. She is surely calling to commiserate, to devise theories about who took it and when, and to figure out what I should do.
But no! She never even saw my email. However, she has my iPad. She has my iPad! Oh great! Wait. What? How can that be?
She’d been visiting her mother in, you guessed it, Greenwich. It was pure coincidence that she had left her mother’s house and gotten in her car three minutes after I locked down the iPad and sent the message with my telephone number. Fourteen minutes later, when I issued the Play Sound, and it was so piercing and so alarming her first thought was “There’s something wrong with my car. They’re always beeping and piercing at you when there’s a loose connection in the tail light or a service due.” But it wasn’t the car. The sound was coming from between the seats.
Yes, even though we’d both looked there, the slot between the passenger seat and the console, where I’d slipped the iPad to be out of sight when I went into the day’s films on Saturday, was so deep it had slipped right out of vision. She looked harder, though, using her audio search app (her ears), and saw the gleam of the case and a flash of the orange cover. And believe you me, we’d both already looked there. Mille fois!
For only fourteen minutes did I believe I’d been violated. But during those fourteen minutes, my imagination went wild: I saw the thief looking through my 2,000 photos, looking at my Facebook and Twitter accounts, looking at me, using Safari to research a fencing operation or pawn shops. I contemplated changing all my passwords, a task so daunting it made me weak in the knees. Then Chris called.
Thank you Apple, thank you God, thank you Chris, thank you Find My iPad. I’ll never let you out my sight again, iPad. I love you, and I will always love you. Please don’t worry that I went on the Apple website and looked at the iPad mini. The mini doesn’t mean a thing to me. Honest.