Apple has released a new application called “Find My Certified Assistant” for MFi licensees who need to test the interoperability of their accessories with Apple’s “Find My” network. The network can help users find lost Apple devices (such as iPhone, AirPods, Mac computers, etc.), but can provide support for finding other compatible accessories manufactured by third parties.
The launch of the test application signifies that Apple may be preparing to announce the launch of third-party device programs shortly.
According to the description of the application, MFi licensees can use “Find My Certified Assistant”. To test the “discovery, connection, and other key requirements” of its accessories, these accessories will use Apple’s Find My network technology.
It also points to information about the “Find My Network” certification program on the Apple MFi portal on mfi.apple.com, which currently refers to “Find My Network” as a “coming soon” MFi program technology.
According to Sensor Tower’s data, the app will be publicly available on the iOS App Store on April 4 (Sunday). It is brand new and therefore has not yet been ranked in any App Store category, including its own “Developer Tools” or other categories. There are currently no ratings and comments.
The launch of the application is a step towards the larger goal of opening the Apple Find My network to third parties, and Apple plans to launch its own new accessory AirTag.
Apple announced for the first time at the Global Developers Conference last year that it will face pressure from US and European regulatory agencies and it will look for third-party devices to open. The advantage of the upcoming AirTags is that it is a competitor to Tile Lost and Found.
A well-known Apple critic Tile once complained that AirTags can be connected to Apple’s U1 chip, which uses UWB (Ultra Wideband) technology to achieve more precise search functions, and pointed out in a congressional hearing that AirTags can be connected to Apple’s own Use Find My together.
The application is available on Apple devices by default. Tile believes that this will give Apple a first-party advantage in the lost and found market that Tile has successfully established and dominated over the years.
In response, Apple last year opened up third-party developers access to its U1 chip through the “NearbyInteraction” framework. As a result, Tile announced its plan to launch a new type of tracker powered by UWB in January 2021.
Recently, Apple updated its “Find My” app to include a new tab called “Project” in preparation for the app’s extended support for AirTag and other third-party accessories (such as Tile and other third-party accessories).
This “Items” tab is enabled in the latest Apple iOS 14.5 beta. The application explains how “Find My App” will now help users track their daily items, including accessories and accessories compatible with “Find My Items”.
However, Tile (and others) believe that Apple’s concessions are still detrimental to their business because participating in Apple’s FindMy program means that third-party device manufacturers will have to abandon their existing applications and require their customers to use Apple’s FindMy Application-Effectively pass customers and their data to Apple.
It is worth noting that the application will display an icon when it starts, which displays three items: headset, backpack, and suitcase. Perhaps not accidentally, the first integration of Tile was with Bose headphones and luggage manufacturers Away and Herschel.