Apple on April 7, 2021, opened up its Find My app to third-party products via a new program that permits non-Apple entities to take advantage of the company’s secure Find My network. This enables users to track any compatible third-party devices using the Find My app. But before you can actually track devices and accessories not designed and made by Apple, you must add them first to the Find My app—and we walk you through the whole process.
Show the table of contents…
Apple opens up the Find My network
Here’s how a support document on Apple’s website describes this functionality:
The new Items tab in Find My lets you keep track of compatible third-party products and personal items using the power of the Find My network, an encrypted, anonymous network of hundreds of millions of Apple devices. Devices in the Find My network use secure Bluetooth technology to detect your missing items nearby and report their approximate location back to you, so you can find them.
The Items tab in the Find My app works on iOS 14.3, iPadOS 14.3 and macOS Big Sur 11.1 and later. Additionally, your Apple ID account must use Apple’s two-factor authentication protection. Also, be sure to check that your Apple devices have their Bluetooth turned on and that the Location Services feature is toggled on in Settings → Privacy → Location Services.
Provided your Apple gear meets these system requirements, launch the Find My app and you should see the new Items tab. Thanks to a server-side change on Apple’s part, no software update is necessary to make the Items tab appear within the Find My software.
Which non-Apple products work with Find My?
At the time of this writing, the following products were compatible with the Find My app:
- Belkin’s Soundform Freedom true wireless earbuds
- VanMoof’s S3 and X3 electric bikes
- Chipolo’s One Spot personal item tracker
Additional products will integrate with Find My in the future.
To help customers identify third-party products that have been officially certified by Apple to work with Find My, the company has designed the “Works with Apple Find My” mark.
Look for this mark on websites and product packaging to confirm Find My compatibility. As an example, VanMoof’s S3 and X3 e-bikes have a “Locate with Apple Find My” sticker underneath the main frame to clearly communicate Find My integration to the owner.
Follow along with us to learn how to add non-Apple accessories that support the Find My network, such as e-bikes, wireless earbuds and more, to the Find My app.
How to add third-party products to Find My
Before you can track a non-Apple product with Apple’s Find My service, you must firsts add it to the Items tab within the Find My app for iOS, iPadOS and macOS.
- Begin the process on your third-party device by following the vendor’s instructions.
- With the connection process initiated, open the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
- Select the “Items” tab at the bottom.
- Touch the button labeled “Add Item.”
- Follow the on-screen instructions to name the accessory and register it to your Apple ID.
That’s it, now you can keep track of your compatible third-party accessory from within the Find My app just like you would an Apple product, like your iPhone or Mac or AirPods.
Do non-Apple accessories support Lost Mode?
Tracking non-Apple products supports features that will be instantly familiar to Find My users. For instance, upon successfully adding your gadget to the Find My app, you can track its location on the built-in map. Want to see all of this in action? If so, then be sure to watch this VanMoof video embedded ahead, showing Find My integration and locating a lost e-bike.
If the device is nearby, you can play a sound to locate it. If you’ve misplaced or lost the product, you can also enable Lost Mode to get alerted via a push notification soon as it’s found.
→ How to use the new Find My app on your iPhone, iPad and Mac
It’s up to manufacturers to support the Find My features—in other words, some Find My-compatible third-party accessories may not support, say, Lost Mode or playing sound remotely.