Apple has finally allowed third-party products to use the locating capabilities of the Find My network, which comprises hundreds of millions of Apple devices. Products that work with the Find My app include accessories from Belkin and Chipolo, and bikes from VanMoof.
For now, the Find My feature will only work only on two models from the Vanmoof stable but more brands will roll with the service in due course.
The Dutch company’s S3 and X3 e-bikes—ordered from today—will be equipped to work with the Find My app.
Riders will add their bikes to a new Items tab in the Find My app. Via this new tab tracked products will be findable on maps on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
Lost—or stolen—products can be made to play a sound to help locate it. Products can also be put into Lost Mode which allows the Find My network to help track it down.
So, if a lost S3 or X3 is located, someone can use the Find My app on any iPhone to identify it and be taken to a website that will display the owner’s message and contact information.
Turning on “Notify when found” will notify the user when the Find My network has located the bike, then provide that location on a map in the Find My app.
The Apple Find My network is anonymous and uses advanced encryption.
The new feature requires an iPhone with iOS 14.3 or later, iPad with iPadOS 14.3 or later, or a Mac with Big Sur macOS 11.1 or later.
“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,” said Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.
“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,” he added.
Tech reporter Glenn Fleishman revealed in July last year that Apple was to opening up its Find My service to third-party accessory makers.