Apple’s Find My app just got a lot more useful. While it’s great for finding a lost or stolen iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Apple Watch, Mac, and AirPods, it’s now even better that it works with third-party accessories and gear.
It’s a big deal because you could combine all of your traceable Bluetooth accessories into one location-snooping app that’s private and secure. It also opens up third-party manufacturers to Apple’s newer crowdsourced Find My network, which uses other people’s Apple products to help you find missing items. “Offline Finding” was first released in iOS 1
The Find My network is huge and operates worldwide, with “hundreds of millions of Apple devices” active, Apple said.
The Find My Network Accessories program is part of Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program, and any third-party manufacturer can jump on board with new or existing products. Developers in the program can add a “Works with Apple Find My” badge to their products upon approval, signaling that it is Find My ready. And soon they will be able to use Ultra Wideband technology for more accurate device coordinates.
Apple is also announcing a draft specification for chipset manufacturers to be released later this spring. This allows third-party device manufacturers to take advantage of Ultra Wideband technology in Apple devices with U1, providing a more accurate, directional experience when they are nearby.
You can track third-party accessories and gear from the new “Items” tab in the Find My app, which first appeared in an iOS 14.5 beta update but has since gone live on iOS 14.3 and later.
Option 1: VanMoof S3 & X3 E-Bikes
VanMoof’s S3 and X3 e-bike models, which are on sale now for $ 1,998 each, will be compatible with Find My starting April 15. They already have built-in alarms and smart location tracking in the VanMoof app, but it’s nice to have everything consolidated into Find My so you can track locations from one place.
Option 2: Belkin Soundform Freedom True Wireless earbuds
Belkin comes with a new Soundform Freedom True Wireless Earbuds that lasts all day, has dual microphones, uses advanced noise cancellation and gives you deep bass with clear mids and highs. The charging case works with Find My out of the box, but they won’t be released until sometime in June. These earbuds were first announced at CES 2011 early this year and are available for $ 99.99.
Option 3: Chipolo ONE Spot Item Finder
Apple’s own AirTags are likely to arrive very soon, but the company has already approved finding smart tags from a third-party manufacturer called Chipolo.
The new Chipolo ONE Spot is just like its current Chipolo ONE trackers, but it only works on the Find My network, so the Chipolo app is for any other tracking tags it creates. These trackers are good for finding your keys, backpack, purse, gym bag, jacket, luggage and other items that you can throw it in or tie it to. The ONE Spot will be available for an undisclosed price sometime in June. Current ONE trackers cost $ 25 each (cheaper with multipacks), so it could be the same price.
Option 4: Beats Headphones
Yes, Apple owns Beats, so it’s no surprise Find My works with these accessories. That means headphones with the W1 or H1 chip are likely to be supported. That includes Beats Flex, Beats Solo3 Wireless, Beats Solo Pro, Beats Studio3 Wireless, Powerbeats and Powerbeats Pro models with the appropriate Bluetooth chips. Apple didn’t mention Beats in the press release about third-party accessories, but some of these models were found to work in the iOS 14.5 betas before iOS 14.3 and later received the Find My update.
Other third-party products that Find My
Right now those products are the only ones to have announced support for the Find My network, but there are sure to be many to come. One that may not work with Find My anytime soon is Tile, which has been overly critical of Apple opening Find My to third-party accessories and making its own unconfirmed AirTags trackers. As for others, only time will tell, but some guesses could be made by looking at developers already in the MFi program.
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