Apple recently filed a new patent for technology making it easier for users to find their iPhone even when it has been switched off.  The patent description is for an ‘apparatus and method for determining a wireless device’s location after shutdown’. 

The patent is designed to enable the Find My iPhone app function to discretely power up the phone at timed intervals to send location data to the owner via email, instant message, SMS texts or GPS, and then shutting down the phone again to save the battery.

It will also keep the phone display turned off so that any thieves will be unaware that the phone is communicating its location to its owner.  These improvements to the Find My iPhone function would help prevent thefts of these smartphones.