Apple today introduced the updated Find My app, allowing third-party products to use the private and secure finding capabilities of Apple’s Find My network, which comprises hundreds of millions of Apple devices.
New products that work with the Find My app from Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof will be available beginning next week.
Approved products can be added to the new Items tab and will feature a “Works with Apple Find My” badge to clearly communicate to users that the product is compatible with the Find My network and the Find My app.
Apple is also announcing 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.
Interesting that Apple has opened up the Find My ecosystem to third-party products before they announced their own proprietary and rumored AirTags. Perhaps it means nothing, but I would have expected the AirTags announcement to lead, with third-party capabilities as a follow-on to the announcement.
No matter. This feels like a brilliant move on Apple’s part. More ecosystem lock-in, more ammunition for their anti-trust counterattack.
This from John Gruber:
We’re all expecting Apple to announce its own “AirTags” tracking beacons imminently, but here’s Apple promoting third-party products, including a tag-like product from Chipolo that seems directly competitive with what we expect AirTags to be, and wireless earbuds from Belkin that obviously compete against AirPods.
Conspicuously absent from the list, of course, is Tile. Given their membership in Epic’s Coalition for App Fairness, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Apple to promote Tile’s products. And it’s unclear to me whether Tile even wants to be in the Find My app — their spat with Apple is more about their own app competing with Find My, and their accusations that Apple unfairly advantages Find My by not holding it to the same rules as third-party apps that ask for always-on location access.