Apple released an improved Find My app that allows third-party apps to use Apple’s Find My network’s private and secure finding features, which spans 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.
“For more than a decade, our consumers have trusted Find My to help them find their lost or stolen Apple devices while maintaining their privacy,” said Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With the Find My network accessory program, we’re taking the powerful finding capabilities of Find My, one of our most famous services, to many more users. We’re excited to see how Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof are putting this technology to work, and we can’t wait to see what else our partners come up with.”
The Find My Network Accessory Program
The Find My Network accessory program, which is part of the Made for iPhone program, is for accessory developers who want to add an existing or new product to Find My network.
Third-party products must adhere to all of the Find My network’s privacy safeguards, 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. 1
Apple also announced today that it would issue a draft specification for chipset manufacturers later this spring. Third-party device makers will be able to use Ultra Wideband technology in U1-equipped Apple devices, resulting in a more accurate, directionally aware experience while they are close by.
The First Find My-Enabled Products
The first group of innovative 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 bus, their gym earbuds, their purse, and much more with these items. Find My-enabled devices and accessories will be available from more third-party computer vendors in the near future.
Accessory developers and manufacturers can learn more about the MFi Platform and download the most recent Find My Network Accessory Program specification by going to apple.com.
One App, a Vast and Global Finding Network
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 computer, 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. No one else, not even Apple or the third-party vendor, can see a device’s location or details since the whole process is encrypted and anonymous from start to finish.