After hinting at it last year, Apple has finally decided to enable users to keep track of their non-Apple belongings in the new Items tab within the Find My app. The first of the items that can now be tracked include VanMoof’s S3 and X3 e-bikes, Belkin’s SoundForm Freedom True Wireless Earbuds, and the Chipolo One Spot tracking tag.
As per the new addition, 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. According to Apple’s blog post, “The Find My network accessory program opens up the vast and global Find My network to third-party device manufacturers to build products utilizing the service, so their customers can use the Find My app to locate and keep track of the important items in their lives. New products that work with the Find My app from Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof will be available beginning next week.”
Users will now 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 also announced a draft specification for chipset manufacturers that will be released later this spring. With this, third-party device makers will be able to take advantage of Ultra-Wideband technology in U1-equipped Apple devices, creating a more precise, directionally aware experience when nearby. 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.
As stated in the post, interested accessory developers and manufacturers can visit apple.com to learn more about the MFi Program and download the latest Find My network accessory program specification.