Losing your iPad is probably a horrifying experience. It’s never happened to me, but if it did I would probably roll up into the fetal position and sob uncontrollably on the hard floor of the city bus until someone gave it back. Maybe I’m exaggerating a tiny bit, but it’d be a really really sad day in my life.
The worst part about losing your iPad is knowing that someone else is going to find it and they’re not going to give it back. All of your photos, iBooks, and hard work on Fieldrunners 2 is now theirs. Except sometimes an incredible story pops up that restores your faith in humanity, like how this kid on Reddit found a lost iPad and worked on finding the owner for 4 months.
Four months ago a users on Reddit left his iPad on a Delta airlines plane. He tried to locate it it unsuccessfully, but nothing turned up and he didn’t hear a peep about it until yesterday when he received a found call from a kid whose mom found the iPad on the flight after his. The iPad was PIN locked so the kid and his mom had no way to tell who it belonged to.
They tried to give the iPad to a Delta flight attendant but they refused to take it. Then they called Apple to get it unlocked, but Apple couldn’t help either. At that point most people would have just given up, reset the iPad to factory settings and used it as their own, but this kid kept trying to find a way to unlock the iPad and find the original owner.
Finally, 4 months later he figured out how to break into it using the smart cover hack. He was able to get into the contacts and find numbers. [The owner] lives far away from him, but coincidentally [his] father lives very nearby. They met tonight and the iPad was returned and a reward was given.
The Smart Cover hack referred to is an iPad security vulnerability that Apple fixed with iOS 5.0.1 where users were able to by-pass the lock screen when using a Smart Cover. Luckily, the owner hadn’t update his firmware since he bought his iPad or the kid would have never got it back to him. Hats off to an awesome kid who didn’t try to use the iPad as his own while it sat in his house for 4 months waiting for the owner.