- Apple has expanded its Find My network to third-party accessory makers to help them create devices that communicate with Apple’s devices.
- With the latest update to the Find My app, users will be able to use it to locate the supported (and approved) devices, just like how they do it with their iDevices.
- The first group of third-party accessories that will work with Find My include VanMoof’s latest S3 and X3 e-bikes, Belkin’s SOUNFFORM Freedom True Wireless Earbuds, and the Chipolo ONE Spot item finder.
Apple introduced Find My iPhone in 2010 as a service to help users locate their lost/missing iPhones. It has been more than ten years since then, and over this period, Find My iPhone has undergone a few changes. One of the most notable developments among these was in 2019 when Apple re-introduced the service as Find My, which extended the original phone tracking functionality to other iDevices (iPad, AirPods, Mac, and Watch).
Now, as part of its latest update, Apple has today announced that it is further extending Find My’s functionality to non-Apple devices as well. The updated Find My app will let third-party accessory manufacturers help their customers keep track of their products with Find My app.
The Find My network accessory program is a part of Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) Program. MFi, for the uninitiated, gives third-party accessory makers access to all the essential technical specifications and resources required to create accessories that communicate with Apple’s devices. And the Find My network accessory program takes it a step further to enable accessory developers to connect their existing and new products to the Find My network. That way, they can integrate the Find My functionality on those products to let users track them when they go missing — just like how Apple does it with their iDevices.
Apple suggests that third-party product designers must adhere to the privacy policies of the Find My network to enable Find My functionality on their products. Once Find My supported devices roll out and get approved by Apple, users can add them to the Find My App. Added items reside under the Items tab and feature a “Works with Apple Find My” badge to lets users know if they (products) are compatible with the Find My network and the Find My app.
As part of the initial release, products such as the VanMoof’s latest S3 and X3 e-bikes, Belkin’s SOUNFFORM Freedom True Wireless Earbuds, and the Chipolo ONE Spot item finder are already lined up as the first group of third-party accessories that will work with Find My.
Find My will begin to work next week on new products from Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof. When available, Apple says it will extend the Find My app’s functionality that allows users to locate missing items on a map, play a sound to pinpoint their location, and lock them immediately to these third-party accessories.
Besides the new update for Find My, Apple has also announced a draft specification for chipset manufacturers, which it says will be released later this spring and will enable device makers to take advantage of the UWB (ultra-wideband) technology in U1-equipped Apple devices to create a more directionally-aware experience.
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