Apple released iOS 14.5 Beta 7 to developers today. Along with the release of the new iOS 14.5 beta, Apple announced its new Find My Network accessory program for third-party accessory makers.
Apple today announced the new Find My Network program for third-party accessory makers. The program allows accessory makers to register their Bluetooth devices to be registered on Apple’s Find My network, and be tracked via the service. Apple says that the products from Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, which are compatible with the new framework will be available next week.
Find My Network is a part of Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program, and the first devices to take advantage of the new service are the S3 and X3 e-bikes from VanMoof, Soundform Freedom True Wireless Earbuds from Belkin, and ONE Spot item finder from Chipolo.
“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. We’re thrilled to see how Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof are utilizing this technology, and can’t wait to see what other partners create.”
Like the MFi program, Apple has stringent rules for Find My Network, too. Accessory makers that are a part of the new program must adhere to all of the privacy protections of the Find My Network. Third-party accessories that are compatible with the new service will show up under “Items” tab on the Find My app, and will have a “Works with Apple Find My” badge. The accessories work just like other Apple devices and can be tracked easily.
Apple also announced that a draft specification for the chipset manufacturers will be available later this month, which will allow third-party accessories to take the advantage of Ultra-Wideband technology in U1-equipped Apple devices, such as iPhone 11 and iPhone 12.
Apple has opened up the new program amid the rumors of AirTags launch. Apple could announce its long-due Tile-like object tracker at an event later this month.