Yesterday, Apple updated some changes to the Find My app that will be 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 allows third-party device developers to use the Find My network to create devices that use the service, allowing their users to use the Find My app to locate and monitor the important things in their lives. Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof will release new items that work with the Find My app starting next week.
The Find My network accessory program, which is part of the Made for iPhone (MFi) program, is for accessory developers who want to add an existing or new product to the Find My network. Third-party products must comply with all of the Find My network’s privacy standards, which Apple consumers rely on.
Approved products can be added to the new Items tab and will show a “Works with Apple Find My” badge to let users know that the product is compatible with the Find My network and app.
Apple also announced a draft specification for chipset manufacturers which will be initiated later this spring. This will allow third-party makers able to take advantage of Ultra-Wideband technology in U1-equipped Apple devices, creating a more precise, directionally aware experience when nearby.
The first group of creative third-party accessories that work with Find My includes VanMoof’s new S3 and X3 e-bikes, Belkin’s SOUNDFORM Freedom True Wireless Earbuds, and the Chipolo ONE Spot item finder. Users will be able to track down their ride, their gym earbuds, their backpack, and much more with these items. Find My-enabled products and accessories will be available from more third-party device vendors in the near future.
The Find My app for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac makes it easy to track down lost Apple devices and communicate with friends and family while maintaining user privacy.
If a user misplaces their Apple device, the Find My app allows them to locate it on a map, play a sound to identify its location, lock it instantly in Lost Mode, and show a message with a contact number; it also allows them to remotely delete the device if it falls into the wrong hands.
The Find My network expands these capabilities by finding lost devices even though they are unable to connect to the internet or are not connected at all. The Find My network is a crowdsourced network of hundreds of millions of Apple devices that use Bluetooth wireless technology to identify missing devices or objects nearby and notify their owners of their approximate location.
“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.”