Apple has officially announced its Find My network with support for third-party accessories. This announcement has come in just after Apple launched its Find My Certification Asst for MFi Licensees to test accessories with Find My network. The Find My Network will function even if Internet connectivity is not available as it will rely on Apple’s network of millions of devices, which will use Bluetooth to share device locations with each other, while completely maintaining data privacy and security.
The new Find My app will allow third-party developers to use Apple’s APIs and integrate their products using a secure and private network. This will allow iPhone, iPad, and Mac users to easily find their accessories from one single location within the Find My app. The Find My network accessory program is open to device and accessory makers, and companies like Belkin, Chipolo and more have already announced that they will be launching new products that take advantage of this feature by next week.
Apple’s Find My network is going live
The new Find My network accessory program will be part of the Made for iPhone (MFi) program and will provide a set of guidelines that developers must follow for approval. Once approved, certified accessories will feature the MFi badge, to show that it can be used from within the Find My app and with the Find My network.
Apple also announced that it will be releasing draft specifications for chipset manufacturers this Spring, which will allow accessory makers to use the Ultra Wideband (U1) technology in Apple’s products, for increased accuracy and spatial awareness.
Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said in a statement:
“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. 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.”
Belkin’s SOUNDFORM Freedom True Wireless Earbuds, VanMoof’s S3 and X3 e-bikes, and Chipolo ONE Spot item finder will be the first third-party accessories that will work with the Find My network. Other manufacturers will announce their products soon. We expect Tile to jump onboard as they always wanted this type of level playing field on iOS, ever since Apple’s rumored AirTags started making the news.
The updated Find My app will allow users to pair these accessories to their iOS or Mac, as well as locate their location, play a sound (if supported), set notifications when found, or erase them if lost. The Find My network will also ensure that an accessory, once paired with an Apple ID, can not be paired with another Apple ID if lost as it will feature a pairing lock that will discourage theft.
The new Find My network and Find my app updates will be functional with iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3 and later on iPhone and iPad, and macOS Big Sur 11.1 or later on Mac.