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Apple revamping Find My Friends & Find My iPhone in unified app, developing Tile-like personal item tracking


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Apple is working on a new app that’s going to replace the Find My Friends and Find My iPhone apps. With codename “GreenTorch”, the app is currently being tested by engineers at the company.

 

People familiar with its development shared exclusive details about the project with 9to5Mac, but asked to remain anonymous discussing the company’s plans. The new app will have the same features of the two existing apps, but combined into a single app, which will be available on both iOS and on macOS, as a Marzipan app.

 

The new unified app includes an improved ability to find a user’s devices. Called “Find Network”, the feature allows devices to be tracked even when not connected to Wi-Fi or to a cellular network.

 

Besides sharing their location with members of their family, users are also able to share their location with any friend. Friends can also send location sharing requests to other people. When a friend is sharing their location with a user, they’re be able to create notifications for when this friend arrives or leaves a specific location.

 

All devices from a user – and their family – can be located using the unified app, including AirPods. Devices can be put in “lost mode” or made to play a sound using the same app, just like Find My iPhone.

 

Apple also wants users to be able to track any item – not just their Apple devices – using this new unified app. The company is working on a new hardware product, known only as “B389” by the people involved in its development.

 

This new product will be a tag that can be attached to any item – similar to other products like Tile. The tag will be paired to a user’s iCloud account by proximity to an iPhone, like AirPods. Users will be able to receive notifications when their device gets too far away from the tag, preventing them from forgetting the item the tag is attached to. Certain locations can be added to a list of ignored locations, so that the item can be left at those locations without the user being notified. The location of a tag can also be shared with friends or family.

 

Users will be able to store their contact information in the tag, which can be read by any Apple device when the tag is put into “lost mode” – the owner of the tag will receive a notification when it is found. It seems that Apple wants to leverage the vast amount of active Apple devices to create a crowdsourced network that helps its users find any lost item, by using this new hardware product.

 

9to5Mac was unable to get any information about when this product is supposed to ship to customers, but it could be announced as early as this September, when the company is expected to release new iPhones.

 

https://9to5mac.com/2019/04/17/find-my-iphone-revamp/

"This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning."

 

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