Keep track of your non-Apple belongings in the new Items tab within the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac.
Apple has opened up its Find My app for locating misplaced devices to third-party manufacturers to let customers track down items that aren’t made by Apple itself.
Apple’s Find My + Third-Party Gadgets
Any compatible third-party gadgets that integrate with Find My will be located under a new Items tab within the Find My app. Apple has already turned on the Items tab via a server-side change so feel free to launch the app to check that you have it already.
From there, you can view the last known location of your non-Apple gadget on a map. Similar to Apple devices, compatible third-party products support the app’s Lost Mode.
Apple explains how it works:
The new Items tab in Find My lets you keep track of compatible third-party products and personal items using the power of the Find My network, an encrypted, anonymous network of hundreds of millions of Apple devices. Devices in the Find My network use secure Bluetooth technology to detect your missing items nearby and report their approximate location back to you, so you can find them.
Support for finding non-Apple products in Find My first appeared in the iOS 14.3 beta. As per the announcement on the Apple website, the first non-Apple gadgets with Find My support include select VanMoof bikes, Belkin’s new earbuds, and Chipolo’s item-tracker.
VanMoof will implement Find My support for both its S3 and X3 e-bikes purchased from April 7. Interestingly, Belkin was first out of the gate with a Find My-compatible product, the Soundform Freedom True Wireless Earbuds, that launched back in January.
Chipolo’s small, circular One Spot item finder (pictured above) will exclusively support the Find My network when it starts shipping sometime in June of this year.
You can sign up for the waitlist at Chipolo’s website.
“Works With Apple Find My”
Apple notes in a support document that any Find My-compatible products will have the “Works with Apple Find My” mark on their website or product packaging as part of the company’s Made for iOS (MFi) certification program for vendors.
The feature requires an Apple ID account protected with two-factor authentication along with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using the latest version of iOS or iPadOS or a Mac computer using the latest version of macOS. Your devices also must have Bluetooth turned on and have location services enabled in Settings > Privacy > Location Services.
How to Add a Compatible Gadget to Find My
To add a compatible third-party gadget to Find My, launch the app on your iOS device and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to begin the connection process. Then switch to the app’s Items tab and hit the option labeled “Add New Item”. Follow the onscreen instructions to give your item a custom name and register it to your Apple ID account.
“After you successfully add your item, you can see it on the map, play a sound if it’s nearby, enable Lost Mode, and get notified when it is found, depending on which features your item supports,” Apple notes.
Apple Opens Up Its U1 Chip to Third-Parties
Apple has also announced a draft specification for accessory manufacturers that would like to take advantage of Ultra Wideband technology in Apple products equipped with the U1 chip, like the iPhone 11 and 12 series and the latest Apple Watch Series 6 models.
Using the U1 chip enables a more precise, directionally aware experience when nearby. Accessory makers can get all the details via the Apple Developers website.
The final specification will be released later this spring.
Learn how to use the Find My app in iOS 13 and make the most of its awesome features.
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