Apple's Third-Party Find My Accessory Program Gets Closer to Launch With New Test App
Apple is getting closer to launching the third-party program that will allow item trackers and other Bluetooth devices to be tracked using the Find My app, based on the launch of a new app.
As noted by TechCrunch, Apple Sunday introduced the Find My Certification Asst. app, which was created exclusively for Made for iPhone (MFi) licensees who need to test their accessories with the Find My network. From the App Store description:
For use by MFi Licensees only. Use the Find My Certification Assistant to test discovery, connection, and other key requirements for accessories you develop that incorporate Find My network technology.
Based on screenshots of the app, product developers are able to test connectivity, sound power, NFC capabilities, firmware, Bluetooth connectivity, and more.
Apple's Find My Network Accessory Program was first introduced alongside iOS and iPadOS 14. It lets third-party products integrate with the Find My app, allowing them to be tracked right alongside Apple devices.
iOS 14.5 added a new "Items" tab to the Find My app, which is where any Find My integrated device will be able to be tracked. This is also presumably where Apple's own AirTags will be able to be located when those launch, but for now, it may be aimed at third-party accessories.
So far, there are few accessory makers that have released a product that works with Find My integration. Belkin in January announced the Soundform Freedom True Wireless Earbuds, which have Find My integration and will be able to be tracked in the Find My app.
Find My is able to work with any device that has Bluetooth and integrates Apple's code through the Find My Network Accessory Program, so it is not limited to item trackers and can be built into any Bluetooth product. Tile has been offering a similar program that allows accessories to integrate with the Tile ecosystem to be located through the Tile app.