Apple has released a test app for “Find My” compatible accessories, compatible with third-party accessories | GLM

Apple has launched a new app called “Find My Certification Asst.

Apple has launched a new app called “Find My Certification Asst.” This is for MFi (Made for iPhone) licensed third-party accessory developers to test the interoperability of Apple’s Find My network with their accessories. The Find My network is currently used by the Find My app to search for lost Apple devices such as iPhones, AirPods, and Macs, but other compatible third-party accessories will soon be available. It is expected to be.

The release of the test app suggests that Apple is ready to announce the launch of a program for third-party devices in the near future.

The app describes that MFi licensees can use Find My Certification Asst. To test “detection, connectivity, and other key requirements” for accessories that incorporate Apple’s Find My network technology. .. It also contains information about the Find My network certification program posted on Apple’s MFi portal (mfi.apple.com). The portal now says Find My Network is “launching soon” as a technology for the MFi program.

Looking at screenshots of this new app, device makers perform a variety of tests in areas such as connectivity, sound (for example, making a sound when an item is misplaced), firmware, key management, NFC, and power supplies. Seems to be able to.

Screen Shot 2021 04 06 at 11.53.14 AM

Image Credit: App Store Screenshot

According to Sensor Tower data, the app was released to the public on the iOS App Store on April 4th. As it’s a new app, it hasn’t yet been ranked in any category of the App Store (including “development tools”). Also, there are no ratings or reviews at this time.

The release of this app is the first step towards the big goal of opening Apple’s Find My network to third parties. Apple itself also plans to launch a new accessory, AirTags.

Apple first announced at the 2020 Worldwide Developer Conference that it would open Find My to third-party devices, partly because of pressure from US and European regulators. Regulators around the world may be trying to give Apple an edge over AirTags, a competitor to Tile’s search device (with many others). I was investigating (side by side).

Image from iOS 10

Image Credit: Screenshot of FMCA app

Tile, who had criticized Apple, said AirTags could connect to Apple’s U1 chip using UWB (ultra-wideband) for a more accurate search. A US Congressional hearing also pointed out that AirTags works with its own “Find My” app that comes by default on Apple devices. Tile argued that this would give Apple a first-party advantage in the search-finding equipment market that Tile had established and dominated over the years.

In response, Apple has opened access to the U1 chip to third-party developers through the 2020 “Near by Interaction” framework. As a result, Tile announced in January 2021 plans to launch a new UWB-based tracker.

Related article: Tile is preparing an ultra wideband tracker that makes it easy to find lost items in AR

In addition, Apple recently updated its Find My app with a new tab called Items. This is in preparation for the app to expand support for third-party accessories such as AirTags and Tile. This “Belongings” tab is enabled in the latest Apple iOS 14.5 beta and is described as “You can find out where to find your daily belongings,” including “Accessories that support’Search’.” ..

However, the fact is that in order to participate in Apple’s Find My program, it means that third-party device makers must abandon existing apps and require customers to use Apple’s “Find My” app instead. Above, Tile (and other companies) feel that Apple’s concessions will still be detrimental to their business as they hand over their customers and their data to Apple.

It’s also worth noting that when you launch the app, you’ll see icons that show three items: headphones, a backpack, and a suitcase. Coincidentally, Tile first integrated with Bose headphones and bag and bag makers such as Away and Herschel.

Apple has asked for comments on the release of the new app, but hasn’t received an answer yet.

Rachel Maga
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life's biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.