Apple Announces Find My Network With Support for Third-Party Devices
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party Bluetooth devices to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices.
According to Apple, the first accessory companies to take advantage of the new Find My integration include Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, with devices set to be available beginning next week.
VanMoof's newest S3 and X3 e-bikes will integrate with Find My, as will Belkin's Soundform Freedom True Wireless Earbuds and the Chipolo ONE Spot item finder. Apple says that additional third-party manufacturers will offer Find My-enabled products and accessories soon.
"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. "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."
Apple has a strict set of rules for devices that are part of the Find My Network accessory program, and all third-party products must adhere to all of the privacy protections of the Find My Network.
Participating Find My products will be able to be found in the "Items" tab and will have a "Works with Apple Find My" badge. You will be able to see Find My accessories in the Find My app under the Items tab, where they can be tracked like Apple products. Third-party accessories can be added to the Find My app on devices running iOS 14.3 and later or macOS Big Sur 11.1 and later.
Find My accessories will be able to be tracked on a map and there will be an option to play a sound to locate a lost device. Items can be put into a Lost Mode, which locks them to an Apple ID and prevents another person from pairing to it. Items can be associated with a phone number and message in case someone finds it, and users can get notifications when an item's location becomes available.
Third-party Find My devices will be able to take advantage of the Find My network that uses crowdsourced data from millions of Apple devices to detect missing devices or items and report an approximate location back to the owner.
Apple today also announced a draft specification for chipset manufacturers that will be released later in the spring. It will allow third-party device manufacturers to take advantage of the Ultra Wideband technology in U1-equipped Apple devices, such as the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 lineups. U1 integration will allow for a more precise, directionally aware item location experience.
Top Rated Comments
With built in Find My capability, I don’t see much of a market for Apple to introduce its own. Apple is already highlighting the Chipolo key finder, identical to what an AirTag was rumoured to be. What will an Apple AirTag do differently?
I’m guessing Apple saw the potential Tile lawsuit and didn’t think it was worth piling on another example of monopoly that can aide in making an antitrust case against them, and decided it wasn’t worth the meagre revenue from $30-$50 tags.