Apple’s Find My network now offers third-party finding experiences
Accessory programme enables users to keep track of their belongings in the new Items tab within app
Apple on Thursday announced the introduction of the updated Find My app, which will now allow third-party products to use finding capabilities of the Find My network, all adhering to the company's strict standards on security, reliability and privacy.
The iPhone maker's Find My app has become an integral part of its ecosystem, virtually tying together an Apple user's entire portfolio of Apple products. Users can keep track of where their products are — even if they're offline, thanks to an Apple innovation that broadcasts a signal to iCloud. Owners of those products cannot be tracked, not even by Apple.
The announcement comes as Apple opens up its ecosystem further, which would help reach more users and give them flexibility and more choices over the peripherals of their choosing. It also allows these manufacturers to take part in Apple's reputed and secure technologies.
The Find My network accessory program opens up the vast and global Find My network to third-party device manufacturers to build products utilising the service, so their customers can use the Find My app to locate and keep track of important items.
New products that work with the Find My app from Belkin, Chipolo and VanMoof will be available beginning next week, which will benefit the hundreds of millions of Apple devices.
“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,” Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice-president of worldwide product marketing, said in a statement.
“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.”
Network accessory programme
Part of the Made for iPhone (MFi) Program, the Find My network accessory programme is designed for any accessory developer looking to connect an existing or new product to the Find My network.
Third-party products must adhere to all the privacy protections of the Find My network that Apple customers rely on. Approved products can be added to the new Items tab and will feature a “Works with Apple Find My” badge to clearly communicate to users that the product is compatible with the Find My network and the Find My app.1
Apple also announced a draft specification for chipset manufacturers that will be released later this spring. With this, third-party device makers will be able to take advantage of Ultra Wideband technology in U1-equipped Apple devices, creating a more precise, directionally aware experience when nearby.
Products that make up the first batch of third-party accessories include VanMoof’s latest S3 and X3 e-bikes, Belkin’s Soundform Freedom True Wireless Earbuds and the Chipolo ONE Spot item finder. Additional manufacturers will offer Find My-enabled products and accessories soon.
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