Apple is growingto include devices from independent companies, including Belkin, Chipolo and VanMoof. Find my functionality launched in 2009 along with the iPhone 3GS. Over the past 12 years, it has grown from tracking lost iPhones to being able to find most of Apple’s products such as Macs, Apple watches and AirPods. By starting in 2019, Find My could get an approximate location of your lost Apple device using Bluetooth. For example, when your iPhone is in lost mode, other Apple devices on the Find My network can detect it via Bluetooth and share that information with you securely and anonymously. Currently, the Find My network has hundreds of millions of Apple devices connected to it.
As of today, you can track non-Apple products, such as VanMoof’s S3 and X3 e-bikes, and starting in June, Belkin’s Soundform Freedom True wireless headphones and Chipolo One Spot item finder that can be attached to buttons or a backpack, for example.
Third parties are working with Apple as part of its MFi program to get products certified to follow specifications for things like privacy, end-to-end encryption, and unwanted tracking protection. You can add Find My Products to the Items tab in the Find Mine app and attach your Apple ID. If you ever sell or give a Find My item to someone else, simply swipe it to the left to remove it from your Apple ID.
Authorized Find My items have a built-in speaker to play locating sound if you activate it from the app. You can set the Find My Item to Lost mode item and be notified when it is found, or add a note with an email address or phone number. Even if the item is not online, other Bluetooth devices and non-Apple devices listed in Find My can find it via Bluetooth. And the whole process is encrypted from end to end to protect your privacy.
Anyone find my items or devices will have a “Work with Apple Find Me” badge. If someone comes across your item and sees the badge, they can go to their own Find My app in the Identify Found Item section and report it as found. If the item is accompanied by a note from the lost mode, the finder will be able to view it.
More products and add-ons will soon enter the Find My network, Apple said in a press release on Tuesday.
Correction at 17:50 ET: Find My uses Bluetooth to find the approximate location of an item or Apple device that is in lost mode.