As announced last June, Apple has just made official the opening of its Localizer application and network to third-party products. As a reminder, Localiser is based on the merger of the Find my phone and Find my friends applications, but also and above all on an encrypted and anonymous Bluetooth network created by all Apple devices around the world. A sort of large mesh.
A device signed in to an Apple account goes into an “offline” mode when it is deemed to be too far away from you or your other devices. It then becomes detectable by Apple products of other users who are within range, communications about its position are then secured thanks to an architecture of encrypted, anonymous keys.
Today, Apple is therefore announcing the addition of a tab in its application and the opening to third-party products, which can be tracked through the Locate application, and locate through Apple product networks.
These products can take many forms. For now, they come in three incarnations, for three third-party products announced. Badge / keychain to hang on an object that you want to find easily, such as the One Spot Item Finder, from Chipolo, or the true wireless Soundform Freedom, from Belkin, and, finally, the S3 and X3, two bikes already marketed by Van Moof, which should very soon be detectable by the application on your iPhone.
Also to discover in video:
To make it easy to spot these compatible devices, which should multiply in the future, Apple has created a label, a subsection of its Made for iPhone (MFi) program. Affixed on the packaging of products, it takes the form of a logo: “Works with Apple Find My”
In addition, always for the sake of clarity, so that users know that a product can be tracked, a small logo is also present on the device.
Apple also announces that it has put in place a set of technical specifications so that chipmakers can not only use Bluetooth but also Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology, which is embodied by the U1 chip, in some recent Apple products. Using the UWB should allow more accurate location of misplaced devices, especially when you’re up close but still can’t see the device.
While we can rejoice in this opening, questions remain unanswered. The hottest one is obviously: where are the AirTags that the rumor keeps announcing as imminent? In fact, how is it that Apple opens the door to third-party products but does not launch its own offer when the stars seem to be aligned?
Perhaps because its products are not yet ready, quite simply. New AirPods are expected to be introduced this year, maybe this will be Apple’s opportunity to take the plunge.