Apple has launched a brand new app, Find My Certification Asst., designed to be used by MFi (Made for iPhone) Licensees, who want to check their equipment’ interoperability with Apple’s Discover My community. The community helps customers discover misplaced Apple gadgets — like iPhones, AirPods, and Mac computer systems, amongst different issues — however is poised so as to add help for locating different appropriate equipment manufactured by third events.
The launch of the testing app indicators that Apple could also be able to announce the launch of the third-party machine program within the close to future.
In response to the app’s description, MFi Licensees can use Discover My Certification Asst. to check the “discovery, connection, and different key necessities” for his or her equipment that can incorporate Apple’s Discover My community expertise. It additionally factors to details about the Discover My community certification program on Apple’s MFi Portal at mfi.apple.com, which presently references Discover My community as a MFi program expertise that’s “launching quickly.”
The brand new app’s screenshots point out it permits machine makers to run all kinds of assessments in areas like connectivity, sound (for instance, if the merchandise could make a noise when misplaced), firmware, key administration, NFC, energy, and extra.
The app turned publicly obtainable on Sunday, April 4th on the iOS App Retailer, in keeping with Sensor Tower knowledge. It’s brand-new so shouldn’t be but rating in any App Retailer classes, together with its personal, “Developer Instruments,” or others. It additionally has no rankings and critiques right now.
The app’s launch is step in the direction of the bigger aim of opening up the Apple Discover My community to third-parties and Apple’s deliberate launch of its personal new accent, AirTags.
Apple finally yr’s Worldwide Developer Convention had first announced it might open up Discover My to third-party gadgets after dealing with pressure from regulators within the U.S. and Europe who had been trying into, amongst different issues, whether or not Apple had been planning to present itself a bonus with its forthcoming launch of AirTags, a competitor to Tile’s lost-item finder.
A distinguished Apple critic, Tile had complained that AirTags would have the ability to join with Apple’s U1 chips, which use UWB (ultra-wideband) expertise for extra exact discovering capabilities, and at a Congressional hearing noted that AirTags would work with Apple’s personal Discover My app, which ships by default on Apple gadgets. This, Tile believed, would give Apple a first-party benefit within the lost-item finder market that Tile had efficiently established and dominated for years.
Apple, in response, opened up third-party developer access to its U1 chip by way of its “NearbyInteraction” framework final yr. Because of this, Tile in Jan. 2021 announced its plan to launch a brand new tracker powered by UWB.
Extra just lately, Apple updated its Find My app to incorporate a brand new tab referred to as “Objects” in preparation for the app’s expanded help for AirTags and different third-party equipment, like these from Tile and others. This “Objects” tab is enabled in newest Apple’s iOS 14.5 beta launch, the place the app explains how the Discover My app will now have the ability to assist customers maintain observe of their on a regular basis gadgets — together with equipment and different gadgets which might be appropriate with Discover My.
Nonetheless, Tile (and certain others) really feel that Apple’s concessions nonetheless drawback their companies as a result of participation in Apple’s FindMy program signifies that the third-party machine maker must abandon its present app and as an alternative require its clients to make use of Apple’s FindMy app — successfully turning over its clients and their knowledge to Apple.
Apple has not but responded to request for remark concerning the new app’s launch.