Apple is officially opening up its Find My tracking network to third-party companies (as it had promised last year.) Now, any hardware manufacturer can add software-side support for Apple’s localized network to track missing items — so long as they play by Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) accessory rules.
The first wave of items that can now be tracked starting today include VanMoof’s S3 and X3 e-bikes, Belkin’s SoundForm Freedom True Wireless Earbuds, and the Chipolo One Spot tracking tag — all of which can now rely on Apple’s crowdsourced Bluetooth network (which encompasses millions of iPhones, iPads, and Macs).
Users will be able to add those devices to the updated Find My app starting today and can track them through that app much in the same way that they’d track any missing Apple product.
Apple says that third-party devices looking to add support will have to apply through the company’s MFi program for authorized accessories and “adhere to all the privacy protections of the Find My network that Apple customers rely on.” Approved products will sport a new “Works with Apple Find My” badge to let customers know that they’re compatible with Apple’s network.
Additionally, Apple announced that it’d be offering a chipset specification for third-party hardware companies to integrate with the Ultra-Wideband systems in Apple’s more recent phones for even more precise tracking in the future. Apple has also long been rumored to be working on its own AirTags product, which would offer similar UWB-based tracking.