Apple today announced the launch of the Find My network accessory program, which allows third-party accessories to be integrated with the indFind My app app.
First innFind My accessories from VanMoof, Belkin and Chipolo will work with innFind My using Bluetooth, but Apple is developing a U1 specification for chipset manufacturers that allows third-party devices to take advantage of the U1 Ultra Wideband chip built into iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models .
According to Apple, third-party accessories that offer Ultra Wideband support for the U1 chip could offer a “more precise, directional experience when nearby”, making it easier to track an item to a specific location, especially when in close to.
Items that have Ultra Wideband can be tracked more precisely with devices that have a U1 chip, which includes all the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models.
Apple’s decision to open access to the U1 chip in iPhones for ‘Find My’ will put third-party accessories that integrate Ultra Wideband on par with the notorious AirTags. RumAirTags will have U1 chip support for more accurate tracking, according to rumors, so Apple will have no specific advantage over competitors with the way the indFind My application is set up.
There have been some setbacks from Tile on rumors of AirTags, so Apple probably wanted to avoid all sorts of situations where it looked like its own accessory was getting special treatment that was not available for third-party accessories.
Apple says that the U1 specification will be available for device manufacturers “later this spring”, so it will still take some time before we see Ultra Wideband compatible accessories that work with the indFind My app.