Apple debuts Find My network for third-party accessories

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 7
Apple's new Find My network accessory program means users can keep track of non-Apple devices and belongings through the familiar Find My app.

A VanMoof e-bike that can be tracked with Find My
A VanMoof e-bike that can be tracked with Find My


Following the announcement of the feature at the 2020 WWDC, and the release of a Find My Certification for third-party companies, Apple has now officially launched its program for adding other devices and items to users' Find My network. Companies licensed under Apple's Made for iPhone (MFi) program can have their accessories tracked by the app.

"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's vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, Bob Borchers, said in a statement. "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," he continued.

Those companies together produce what Apple describes as "the first group of innovative third-party accessories that work with Find My." The include e-bikes from VanMoof, and wireless earbuds from Belkin.

"We're always striving to provide the very best end-to-end experience for our riders," said Job Stehmann, Chief Product Design & Technology Officer at VanMoof in a separate statement. "[We're] so proud to introduce our Find My-enabled bikes as one of the first brands to join the Find My network accessory program, an achievement made possible by our talented in-house developers."

"It was an exciting opportunity that opens up new possibilities and ease of use for our riders worldwide." he continued.

VanMoof is the first e-bike company to work with Find My
VanMoof is the first e-bike company to work with Find My


Existing or new products can be connected to the Find My network by MFi signees. Apple stipulates that such connected devices must display a "Works with Apple Find My" badge, and that manufacturers adhere to all its privacy requirements.

Alongside the announcement of the program, Apple says it will be launching what it calls a draft specification for chipset manufacturers. Due out "later this spring," the specification will allow third-party firms to utilize the more precise location technology, Ultra-Wideband technology in U1-equipped. Apple devices.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    Tile is probably wishing it hadn't poked the bear. They're now just a commodity and irrelevant with products that integrate Apple Find My directly. I never liked the fact that Tile tried to block Apple from releasing a competing product under the guise of anti-competitive behaviour. It always felt like Tile were the ones being anti-competitive.

    Great move by Apple, the move adds a lot of value to the whole ecosystem, making what was a narrow service much more relevant and mainstream.
    chaickalkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 6
    chaickachaicka Posts: 231member
    Tile is probably wishing it hadn't poked the bear. They're now just a commodity and irrelevant with products that integrate Apple Find My directly. I never liked the fact that Tile tried to block Apple from releasing a competing product under the guise of anti-competitive behaviour. It always felt like Tile were the ones being anti-competitive.

    Great move by Apple, the move adds a lot of value to the whole ecosystem, making what was a narrow service much more relevant and mainstream.
    And the much delay in releasing 'AirTags' may also be a move to wait for other 3rd parties accessories to be ready and available so as to avoid any perceived anti-competitive flaming. It's great to have choices and integrated 'Find My' devices, equipment, etc without having to solely depend on Tile's devices. Totally agree with what you mentioned - a great move that adds lots of value.
    FizzyPandawatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 6
    FlytrapFlytrap Posts: 51member
    chaicka said:
    Tile is probably wishing it hadn't poked the bear. They're now just a commodity and irrelevant with products that integrate Apple Find My directly. I never liked the fact that Tile tried to block Apple from releasing a competing product under the guise of anti-competitive behaviour. It always felt like Tile were the ones being anti-competitive.

    Great move by Apple, the move adds a lot of value to the whole ecosystem, making what was a narrow service much more relevant and mainstream.
    And the much delay in releasing 'AirTags' may also be a move to wait for other 3rd parties accessories to be ready and available so as to avoid any perceived anti-competitive flaming. It's great to have choices and integrated 'Find My' devices, equipment, etc without having to solely depend on Tile's devices. Totally agree with what you mentioned - a great move that adds lots of value.
    Tile is now faced with a difficult choice for which there are no good options for them. Either they:
    1. Stick with their proprietary technology and app, which is cross platform and works on iOS and Android. They already have a sizeable deployed base of users for this - which is necessary to increase the probability of your Tile item being found by another Tile user - but it is a tiny fraction of the number of iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and MacBook users who have the Find My app pre installed. This sounds like a lose slowly kind of strategy. Or
    2. Switch to Apple's Find My MFi programme where they will likely have a head start over similar competitors due to the number of existing users who are likely to just upgrade to the new Find My compatible Tile device (and maybe find a way of making the new Tile devices backward compatible for their Android users). But they will quickly be swamped and overwhelmed by cheaper Asian copy-cat OEMs who will flood the market with cheap Find My compatible tiles that leverage the same installed base of iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and MacBook Find My users as tile - essentially eliminating the one advantage that Tile currently has over any new startup trying to compete with them. This sounds like a race to the bottom kind of strategy, unless they can leverage their brand name to carve out a premium Find My compatible tile niche for themselves (think MFi accessories like cables, battery power packs, phone cases, etc.)

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 6
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,679member
    Tile is probably wishing it hadn't poked the bear. They're now just a commodity and irrelevant with products that integrate Apple Find My directly. I never liked the fact that Tile tried to block Apple from releasing a competing product under the guise of anti-competitive behaviour. It always felt like Tile were the ones being anti-competitive.

    Great move by Apple, the move adds a lot of value to the whole ecosystem, making what was a narrow service much more relevant and mainstream.
    Yes, I’m not sure ‘opening up the network to more competition’ was the outcome they were looking for. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 6
    BeatsBeats Posts: 1,955member
    Is Beats STILL not supported???

    What a JOKE!!
  • Reply 6 of 6
    Flytrap said:
    chaicka said:
    Tile is probably wishing it hadn't poked the bear. They're now just a commodity and irrelevant with products that integrate Apple Find My directly. I never liked the fact that Tile tried to block Apple from releasing a competing product under the guise of anti-competitive behaviour. It always felt like Tile were the ones being anti-competitive.

    Great move by Apple, the move adds a lot of value to the whole ecosystem, making what was a narrow service much more relevant and mainstream.
    And the much delay in releasing 'AirTags' may also be a move to wait for other 3rd parties accessories to be ready and available so as to avoid any perceived anti-competitive flaming. It's great to have choices and integrated 'Find My' devices, equipment, etc without having to solely depend on Tile's devices. Totally agree with what you mentioned - a great move that adds lots of value.
    Tile is now faced with a difficult choice for which there are no good options for them. Either they:
    1. Stick with their proprietary technology and app, which is cross platform and works on iOS and Android. They already have a sizeable deployed base of users for this - which is necessary to increase the probability of your Tile item being found by another Tile user - but it is a tiny fraction of the number of iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and MacBook users who have the Find My app pre installed. This sounds like a lose slowly kind of strategy. Or
    2. Switch to Apple's Find My MFi programme where they will likely have a head start over similar competitors due to the number of existing users who are likely to just upgrade to the new Find My compatible Tile device (and maybe find a way of making the new Tile devices backward compatible for their Android users). But they will quickly be swamped and overwhelmed by cheaper Asian copy-cat OEMs who will flood the market with cheap Find My compatible tiles that leverage the same installed base of iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and MacBook Find My users as tile - essentially eliminating the one advantage that Tile currently has over any new startup trying to compete with them. This sounds like a race to the bottom kind of strategy, unless they can leverage their brand name to carve out a premium Find My compatible tile niche for themselves (think MFi accessories like cables, battery power packs, phone cases, etc.)
    Or making their tiles available on both apps, ie both (1) and (2).
    watto_cobra
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