Apple is now opening its “Where is?” Network to third-party providers to locate lost or stolen items using iOS, iPadOS, and macOS devices. The first compatible products come from manufacturers such as VanMoof, Belkin, and Chipolo.
While Apple users have previously only been able to use the Find My app for devices such as the Apple Watch, iPhones, and Co., the US company is introducing a network that has been expanded to include third-party providers with the latest update.
With the help of the new “Items” tab within the app, additional products can be added that Apple has previously certified via the “Made for iPhone” program (MFi) and approved for location via Bluetooth and WLAN. In the first step, four devices from VanMoof, Belkin, and Chipolo qualify.
Apple shares its ultra-broadband technology with MFi partners
The currently compatible products include the VanMoof S3 and X3 e-bikes, the Belkin Soundform Freedom true wireless headphones, and the Chipolo One Spot Bluetooth tracker.
In addition, Apple is announcing a draft specification for chipset manufacturers that will soon enable manufacturers to use the ultra-broadband technology of the in-house U1 chip in Apple devices for even more precise location determination.
For clear signaling of compatibility, products that will be supported in the future will also be marked with a “Works with Apple Find my” symbol.
An iPhone or iPod with iOS 14.3, an iPad with iPadOS 14.3, or a Mac with macOS 11.1 Big Sur along with an Apple ID and the activated location function within the iCloud account.
In order to find objects, not only the own Bluetooth and WLAN connections are used, but also those of other Apple users in the so-called crowdsourced network. According to Apple, the entire process is end-to-end encrypted and anonymized.