At WWDC, Apple made a big announcement regarding its Find My network. Apple Find My network is a crowdsourced network of hundreds of millions of Apple devices that helps users locate a missing iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. Apple has now announced that third-party Find My network-enabled accessories can be located using the Find My app from next year. Basically, any accessory maker will be able to connect to the Find My network.
Devices in the Find My network use Bluetooth LE to detect missing devices or items nearby and report their approximate location back to the owner.
Find My network features:
- Unwanted tracking detection (UT) notifies the user of the presence of an unrecognized accessory that may be traveling with them over time and allows them to take various actions, including playing a sound on the accessory if it’s in BTLE range.
- An owner can use the Find My app to place their accessory in Lost Mode. They can set a phone number and select a message from a predefined list.
- When someone finds someone else’s lost accessory, they can discover the details set by the owner by using NFC or BTLE to help the owner recover the lost item.
- The Play sound feature allows users to play sound from their Apple device to locate the accessory. This action may be initiated from an owner or non-owner device. Users can play a sound from the Find My app on an owner device. The Apple device creates a BTLE
connection or uses an existing connection to the accessory and uses the Play sound—owner control point to initiate the action.
Users can play a sound from a non-owner Apple device when a UT alert appears on that device. The Apple device creates a BTLE connection and uses the Play sound—non-owner control point to initiate the action.
Apple is planning to release its final Find My Network Accessory specification later this year.