Apple enhances the Find My iPhone monitoring network to include third-party accessories.

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The first devices from Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof will be available next week.

Apple’s Find My app was revised on Wednesday to provide support for third-party users. The software, formerly known as Find My iPhone, can identify almost every Apple product you own using a network of WiFi, wireless, and Bluetooth-enabled smartphones.

Apple’s newest Find My Network Accessory Program expands its tracking network to include products from participating manufacturers. Tracking a non-Apple device works in the same way as tracking a first-party product does. On the Find My map, each object will be represented by an icon.

Tapping an icon’s computer brings up an interface with a few options for the user to choose from. If the machine is nearby, the app can tell it to make a sound, making it easier to find. The device will be locked whether it is lost or stolen. It can’t be combined with another account until it’s locked.

There are a few distinctions between using Find My for third-party accessories and using Find My with Apple items. Pairing, for example, is not instant. The Find My software on Apple devices will identify something signed into the user’s iCloud account with no configuration required.

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The revamped version also has a new “Items” tab at the bottom for configuring non-Apple computers. Users must first make the requested product discoverable before selecting “Add Item.” The app will look for and display a list of qualifying accessories that it discovers.

In terms of eligibility, the Find My Network Accessory Program is an expansion of Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) programme, so vendors of future or existing MFi products are exempt.

Apple mentions that several OEMs will be releasing Find My capable goods beginning next week. The program’s first devices are VanMoof’s new S3 and X3 e-bikes, Belkin’s Soundform Freedom Wireless Earbuds, and Chipolo’s One Spot tracking fob. More to be anticipated, as including Find My Compatibility in goods that are already MFi is a no-brainer.

 

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