Apple Extends “Find My” Service to Third Parties

Posted on April 7, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, Mobile, iOS, Mac and macOS, iPadOS with 6 Comments

Apple announced today that it is expanding its “Find My” services to third parties, starting with Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof next week. The move is clearly aimed in part to undercut criticism about its long-awaited Tile competitor, AirTags.

“For more than a decade, our customers have relied on Find My to locate their missing or stolen Apple devices, all while protecting their privacy,” Apple vice president Bob Borchers says. “Now we’re bringing the powerful finding capabilities of Find My, one of our most popular services, to more people with the Find My network accessory program. We’re thrilled to see how Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof are utilizing this technology, and can’t wait to see what other partners create.”

The new Find My network accessory program is being launched as a new part of the Made for iPhone (MFi) Program, which certifies third-party devices to be fully compatible with Apple’s hardware devices. Apple says that third-party products must adhere to all of the privacy protections afforded by the Find My network and that approved products will feature a prominent “Works with Apple Find My” badge to help users understand their compatibility.

And in a nod towards the oft-delayed AirTags, Apple also revealed that it has released a draft specification for third parties that wish to take advantage of the Ultra Wideband technology found in U1-equipped Apple devices. AirTags is expected to use this technology.

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Comments (6)

6 responses to “Apple Extends “Find My” Service to Third Parties”

  1. red.radar

    I am now wondering if AirTags is even a product but rather a reference design for the partners. Why not let your third parties manage the manufacturing of presumably a really simple device.

  2. samp

    Strange its not called iTags or something else starting with "i". Braking a tradition...

    • angusmatheson

      In reply to samp:

      My understanding is that they are getting away from “i” things thing iTag is because they never could trademark the “I” - hence “iHome” and “iJustine” the “i” in iMac originally meant these were internet enabled macs. But then they carried it to iPod and it took off.

    • rbgaynor

      In reply to samp:

      Well, we don't know what their tag product will be called, but "Find My" is a service that they've been running for a long time and goes far beyond just tags.

    • cavalier_eternal

      In reply to samp:

      They dropped the “i” branding on new products lines and services awhile ago. IPad and iCloud are the last two things I can remember that had it. Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple News, Apple Card, Apple Fitness +, Apple One .... not an “i” named thing in there.

  3. cavalier_eternal

    Given that this is part of the MFi program I’d wager this is entirely about growing the services business and has little to nothing to do with Tile’s temper tantrum.