Apple is opening up the Find My network to third-party devices, which means very soon iPhones will be able to help track lost items with the use of a built-in app named Find My, Apple announced on Wednesday.
Find My launched back in 2009 alongside the iPhone 3GS. Over the span of a dozen years, the functionality has grown markedly from just tracking lost or misplaced iPhones to being able to help find most Apple products like AirPods, Apple Watches and Macs.
Thanks to the iOS13 launched in 2019, Find My could obtain the approximate location of your lost Apple unit using Bluetooth technology. For instance, if your iPhone is in Lost Mode, other Apple devices on the Find My network can trace it via Bluetooth and share that info anonymously and securely back to you. Find My network currently has hundreds of millions of Apple units tied to it.
Starting this week, you can track non-Apple products such as VanMoof’s S3 and X3 e-bikes. Starting in June, other products can also be tracked including Belkin’s Soundform Freedom True Wireless Earbuds and the Chipolo One Spot item finder which can be attached to a backpack or keys.
As part of its MFi program, third parties work with Apple to get products certified that they follow specifications for certain aspects like end-to-end encryption, unwanted tracking protection and privacy.
Find My products can be added to the Items tab of the Find My app and linked to your Apple ID. Should you ever sell or give a Find My item to somebody else, just do a simple swipe left to delete it from your Apple ID.