Apple has introduced the updated Find My app, allowing third-party products to use the private and secure finding capabilities of Apple’s Find My network, which comprises hundreds of millions of Apple devices.
The Find My network accessory program opens up the vast and global Find My network to third-party device manufacturers to build products utilizing the service, so their customers can use the Find My app to locate and keep track of the important items in their lives. New products that work with the Find My app from Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof will be available beginning next week.
“For more than a decade, our customers have relied on Find My to locate their missing or stolen Apple devices, all while protecting their privacy,” said Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in a press release. “Now we’re bringing the powerful finding capabilities of Find My, one of our most popular services, to more people with the Find My network accessory program. We’re thrilled to see how Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof are utilizing this technology, and can’t wait to see what other partners create.”
The Find My Network Accessory Program
Part of the Made for iPhone (MFi) Program, the Find My network accessory program is designed for any accessory developer looking to connect an existing or new product to the Find My network. Third-party products must adhere to all the privacy protections of the Find My network that Apple customers rely on. Approved products can be added to the new Items tab and will feature a “Works with Apple Find My” badge to clearly communicate to users that the product is compatible with the Find My network and the Find My app.1
Apple is also announcing a draft specification for chipset manufacturers that will be released later this spring. With this, third-party device makers will be able to take advantage of Ultra Wideband technology in U1-equipped Apple devices, creating a more precise, directionally aware experience when nearby.
VanMoof’s latest S3 and X3 e-bikes, Belkin’s SOUNDFORM Freedom True Wireless Earbuds, and the Chipolo ONE Spot item finder make up the first group of innovative third-party accessories that work with Find My. These products will allow users to locate where they left their ride, their earbuds at the gym, their backpack, and so much more. Additional third-party device manufacturers will offer Find My-enabled products and accessories soon, according to Apple.
The Find My app on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac makes it easy to locate missing Apple devices, as well as keep up with friends and family, all while protecting user privacy. If a user ever loses their Apple device, the Find My app allows them to locate it on a map, play a sound to pinpoint its location, put it in Lost Mode to lock it immediately, and display a message with a contact number; it also lets them remotely erase the device in case it has fallen into the wrong hands.
The Find My network extends these capabilities by locating missing devices even if they can’t or don’t connect to the internet. The Find My network is a crowdsourced network of hundreds of millions of Apple devices that use Bluetooth wireless technology to detect missing devices or items nearby, and report their approximate location back to the owner. Apple says the entire process is end-to-end encrypted and anonymous, so no one else, not even Apple or the third-party manufacturer, can view a device’s location or information.