Apple opens Find My network to third-party accessory makers as AirTags launch nears
Apple on Wednesday opened its Find My network to third-party accessory makers, allowing MFi (Made for iPhone) licensees to integrate the Find My technology into their products so that customers can locate their belongings with the Apple Find My infrastructure, using the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Today Apple has 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 locating items nearby.
Apple says third-party products must adhere to all the privacy protections of the Find My network. 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.
Apple today introduced the updated Find My app, allowing third-party products to use the private and secure finding capabilities of Apple’s Find My network, which comprises hundreds of millions of Apple devices. The Find My network accessory program opens up the vast and global Find My network to third-party device manufacturers to build products utilizing the service, so their customers can use the Find My app to locate and keep track of the important items in their lives. New products that work with the Find My app from Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof will be available beginning next week.
Apple is expected to announce AirTags, its own item tracker later this month. The tags are expected to be introduced to allow users to track their belongings, such as wallets, backpacks, and keys, in the Find My app on iPhone and iPad, which will send notifications as soon as the user becomes separated from their valuables, with the exception of when items have been left behind at a pre-defined “Safe Location”, such as at the user’s home or workplace.