3 Minutes to Apple Find My Network

2022-10-09 13:32 Maggie Z

If Apple detects a Find My accessory on you or with you, it sends you a security alert. That way you can be sure no one is attaching a tracking device to you.Apple launched the Find My Network accessory program in April 2021 designed for third-party accessory manufacturers, allowing device manufacturers to integrate Find My right into their products.

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With the Find My web accessory program, third-party accessory manufacturers can add the Find My integration to their devices so that products can be tracked with Apple devices and AirTags in the Find My app.

This guide covers everything you need to know about the attachment program, from how it works to the devices that provide Find My Integration.

Tracking how third-party accessories work

Accessory manufacturers who are enrolled in Apple's Made for iPhone program and participate in the Find My Network Accessory Program can add Find My integration to any Bluetooth-enabled device.

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This means that Find My compatible Bluetooth or WiFi devices can be tracked in the Find My app along with your Apple products. In iOS 14.3 or later, Find My has an Items tab where all third-party accessories can be found.

Find My for third-party accessories is the same as Find My for any Apple device, and your accessory will appear on a map. Third-party Find My accessories can utilize all of Apple's Find My features.

So if there's a Bluetooth-equipped device nearby, it'll show up in Find My Apps, but if it's out of range, Maps will show the last known location. If you lose an item and someone else is near it with an iPhone, iPad or Mac, it can communicate with their device and securely and privately forward the item's approximate location to you.

Setting up Third Party Find My Device

The Find My app is a one-stop store for adding, controlling, and locating any Find My-compatible accessory, as third-party accessories that work with Find My cannot support other apps or item locator networks.

In Find My Apps on iPhone, iPad and Mac, there is an "Items" tab. On iPhone, iPad and Mac, there is an "Items" tab in Find My Apps, and to add an item, all you need to do is click on the "Add Item" option. You will need to put Find My Accessories in pairing mode according to your device manufacturer's instructions, which will vary by manufacturer.

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For example, with a VanMoof bike, you'll need to double-tap the bike's power button to put it into pairing mode to connect it to the Find My app.

You can customize the names of all your items and assign emoticons to them so you can identify each item at a glance on Find My Map. Adding items to Find does require your Apple ID as it links the item to your ID.

Locate lost third-party devices with Find My

If you open the Find My app and navigate to the Items tab, you can view all accessories compatible with Find My on a map. If the accessory is able to communicate with your iPhone, iPad or Mac via Bluetooth, you'll see the current location, or if it's too far away, you'll see the last known location. It will also tell you when your device last communicated with the accessory.

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You can play sounds on Find My Accessories and, if lost, put them in Lost Mode. Putting your device in Lost Mode allows you to lock it to prevent it from being paired with another Apple device, and it adds a phone number and message in case someone comes across your lost item.

If someone with an iPad, iPhone, or Mac finds your missing Find My accessory, they can use the Find My app to view your message and get in touch. You'll also receive a notification when located on someone else's device, and their location will appear on a map.

The Find My network, which allows lost devices to be found through crowdsourcing, is anonymous and encrypted, so while you'll get information about where a lost item might be, you won't see who found it unless they provide information and a phone number after you do.

Putting items in lost mode

You can put a lost item in Lost Mode by tapping its name in Find and then tapping Enable under Lost Mode. Apple will prompt you to enter a phone number where you can be reached, and you can choose to be notified when updated location information is available.

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Lost mode can be disabled by turning off "Enable" under the "Lost Mode" option.

Burglary prevention

Like iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Find My Items is linked to your Apple ID. If someone steals an accessory that has Find Me built in, that person won't be able to link the item to their own Apple ID account.

Route to obtain missing items

Tapping on any of your third-party accessories in the Find app will display its last location. If it's not nearby, you can tap on "Route" to open its location in the Apple Maps app to get directions from your current location to the item's location.

Split alarms

Apple added separation alerts to the Find My app in iOS 15, designed to let you know if you've left behind an Apple device, a device connected to AirTag, or a third-party device that supports Find My.

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You can set up detachment alerts in the Find My app, so if you want to make sure your iPhone is always with you, or that you don't leave the house without your keys, this is a feature you can use.

Renewal projects

Firmware updates are available for third-party accessories connected to Find My. To install an update, tap the name of the item in the Find app, then tap Available Updates. If the Update Available button is not listed, the item is up to date.

Check the serial number of the item

By clicking on an item in the Find My app and then clicking on Show Details, you can see information such as the serial number or model number, and it will let you know if the manufacturer has an app you can download to add additional features to the item.

How to Identify Someone's Lost Items

If you find a lost item and know that it has Find My integration, you can open the Find My app and click on the "Recognize Found Items" option to see if the person who lost it left a message and a contact number so you can get in touch with them.

Scanning for lost items using the Find application will take you to the website to view lost pattern messages.

Security alerts for unknown items

If Apple detects a Find My accessory on you or with you, it sends you a security alert. That way you can be sure no one is attaching a tracking device to you.


If you receive one of these alerts, you can tap it to see an unknown item on the map or play a sound. You can also click on "Learn more about this item" to get detailed information, such as a serial number, and you can choose to disable the item to stop sharing your location. Do this by clicking on "Description" and then clicking on "Disable Item".

Please note that if you have an item that belongs to another person and you disable location alerts, the item will not be available as it is already linked to the Apple ID.

In some cases, security alerts may be inconvenient, for example, if a nearby family member has an item that your device is picking up on Find My Items. In this case, you can turn off security alerts for people in your Family Sharing group, or tap Pause Security Alerts to mute them.

You can also turn off security alerts altogether if you're getting annoying notifications. Under the "Me" tab, go to Notifications and turn off itemized security alerts. This needs to be done on a per-device basis.

Deleting items from Find Me

If you want to sell or give away a Find My accessory, you'll need to remove it from Find My. Place it near your device, click "Remove Item" and follow the instructions.

If an item is not nearby, you can also delete it from your account, but since it is linked to your Apple ID, it will still be locked and cannot be added to anyone's account.

Third-party accessories that support Find My

A limited number of Find My accessories are currently available, but Apple expects more manufacturers to add Find My support in the future.

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Compatibility Requirements

Adding compatible third-party accessories to the Find app requires iOS 14.3 or later, iPadOS 14.3 or later, or macOS Big Sur 11.1 or later.

AirTags

In April 2021, Apple introduced "AirTags," small, round, Bluetooth-enabled item trackers designed to attach to items such as keys and wallets so they can be tracked in the Find My Network app on Apple devices and Find My Network accessories. app" on Apple devices and Find My Network accessories. Third-party Find My items will also be connected to the same anti-loss network as official Apple products and will be quick and easy to find.