Apple today introduced the updated Find My app, allowing third-party products to use the private and secure finding capabilities of Apple’s Find My network, which comprises hundreds of millions of Apple devices. The Find My network accessory program opens up the vast and global Find My network to third-party device manufacturers to build products utilizing the service, so their customers can use the Find My app to locate and keep track of the important items in their lives. New products that work with the Find My app from Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof will be available beginning next week.
Interesting move. We’ve long been expecting Apple’s first-party solution—the much rumored AirTags—but part of me wonders if Cupertino has scuppered that idea entirely, in favor of letting third parties build solutions. It always seemed like a somewhat odd and peripheral—literally and figuratively—market for the company to enter.
Find My is a very powerful service, given that it can harness the network of Apple devices around the world, and it potentially saves other companies a lot of time, effort, and money to not have to build out a competitive system that, ultimately, won’t be very competitive.
Several people have noticed that the biggest current competitor, Tile, isn’t yet part of this, and has taken a rather more hostile stance to Apple, having joined Epic’s Coalition for App Fairness. I wonder if that stance will last in the wake of this announcement: seems like Tile might be shooting itself in the foot.