Apple has launched a new application, Find My Certification Asst., Designed for use by MFi (Made for iPhone) licensees, who need to test the interoperability of their accessories with Apple’s Find My network. The network is helping users find lost Apple devices – like iPhones, AirPods, and Mac computers, among others – but is poised to add support for finding other compatible accessories made by third parties.
The launch of the test app indicates that Apple may be ready to announce the launch of the program for third-party devices in the near future.
According to the app description, MFi licensees can use Find My Certification Asst. to test “discover, connect and other key requirements” for their accessories that will incorporate Apple’s Find My network technology. It also links to information about the Find My Network certification program on Apple’s MFi portal at mfi.apple.com, which currently refers to Find My network as an MFi program technology that “will be released soon. “.
Screenshots of the new app indicate that it allows device manufacturers to run a wide variety of tests in areas such as connectivity, sound (for example, whether the item can make noise when ‘it is lost), firmware, key management, NFC, power, etc.
The app became available to the public on Sunday April 4 on the iOS App Store, according to data from Sensor Tower. It is brand new, so it does not yet appear in the categories of the App Store, including its own, “developer tools” or others. He also has no ratings or reviews at the moment.
The launch of the app is a step towards the broader goal of opening up the Apple Find My network to third parties and the planned launch by Apple of its own new accessory, AirTags.
At last year’s Global Developer Conference, Apple first announced it would open Find My to third-party devices after coming under pressure from regulators in the US and Europe who had searched, among others. , if Apple had planned to give itself an advantage with its upcoming launch of AirTags, a competitor to Tile’s lost object finder.
A prominent Apple critic, Tile had complained that AirTags would be able to connect with Apple’s U1 chips, which use UWB (ultra-wideband) technology for more precise search capabilities, and when of a congressional hearing noted that AirTags would work with Apple’s own Find My. app, which is delivered by default on Apple devices. According to Tile, this would give Apple a first-party advantage in the lost-item search market that Tile had managed to establish and dominate for years.
Apple, in response, opened up access to its U1 chip to third-party developers through its “NearInteraction” framework last year. As a result, Tile announced in January 2021 its intention to launch a new UWB-powered tracker.
More recently, Apple updated its Find My app to include a new tab called “Items” for expanded app support for AirTags and other third-party accessories, like those from Tile and other. This “Items” tab is enabled in Apple’s latest beta of iOS 14.5, where the app explains how the Find My app will now be able to help users track their everyday items, including accessories and other compatible items. with Locate.
However, Tile (and likely others) believe that Apple’s dealerships still put their businesses at a disadvantage, as participation in Apple’s FindMy program means the third-party device maker would have to ditch its existing app and demand instead. its customers that they use Apple’s FindMy application – which about its customers and their data to Apple.
It should be noted that, upon launch, the app features an icon that shows three items: a helmet, a backpack, and a suitcase. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Tile’s earliest integrations were with headphones and luggage and bag makers Bose, Away, and Herschel.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment on the launch of the new app.