No longer just smartphones or MacBooks, but also bicycles, backpacks and much more, thanks to the “Where is” app and millions of Apple devices around the world
Apple , through iPhone, iPad and so on, has built the largest network in the world to locate lost, stolen or forgotten items . After starting small by tracking its products – first with Find my iPhone then replaced by the Where is app – it is now ready to put this system in the hands of partners and third-party companies in order to allow its users to track bicycles, bags and any other type of object capable of connecting with Bluetooth. Find My Network Accessory Program opens Dov’è’s extensive global network to other device manufacturers, who will be able to integrate the service into their products and allow customers to use the Dov’è app to track down other items they care . “For more than a decade, our customers have relied on Where’s to track lost or stolen Apple devices without putting their privacy at risk. Now, thanks to the Find My Network Accessory Program, we are giving even more people the opportunity to take advantage of the powerful features of Find My, one of our most popular services. We can’t wait to see how Belkin, Chipolo, VanMoof and other partners will use this technology, ”said Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing .
How the Where is app works
The Find My app on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac makes it easy to find Apple devices, as well as friends and family , all without risking users’ privacy. When a user can’t find an Apple device, the Find My app can locate it on the map, ring it, or put it into Lost mode to lock it instantly. It can also pop up a message with a phone number on the display and remotely wipe all data in case it gets into the wrong hands.
The Dov’è network further enhances these functions because it allows devices to be located even if they are not connected to the Internet or cannot . The Where’s Network is a crowdsourcing network of hundreds of millions of Apple devices , which uses Bluetooth wireless technology to detect lost or nearby devices, and then report their approximate locations to their rightful owners. The process is end-to-end encrypted and anonymous – no one, not even Apple or another manufacturer, can access the device’s location or data.
Here, now this tracking system will also extend to the latest models of VanMoof’s S3 and X3 e-bikes , Belkin’s Soundform Freedom true wireless earphones and Chipolo’s ONE Spot tracker – and consequently to everything you can hook it to such as backpacks, bags, and so on. Thanks to these products, people will be able to easily find their bike, earphones left in the gym, backpack and much more.
Apple, what will change with the Tracking Transparency App
The other big news coming up is app tracking : with the next update to iOS 14.5, apps will be forced to obtain user consent before tracking their data in other companies’ apps and websites. In Settings, you will be able to see which apps have requested consent and change your choices; while the first time you download it, a text box will appear asking you: “Do you want to allow the app to keep track of your activities and on the websites of other companies?”, at that point you just have to choose between “Allow” and “Ask the app not to track” to have complete control over your data. We will decide whether or not to authorize the tracking: if we trust and give our consent, those who developed the app will be able to continue to track our activities, helping to finance a market worth 227 billion dollars a year .
In addition to requesting consent for tracking, Apple has also recently introduced some changes to app descriptions on the App Store to increase transparency . Now the user can better understand how the apps process his data by consulting the new section “App Privacy” , a tab present in all the descriptions where the developers explain, in a simple and clear way, how they deal with the issue of privacy. This includes information on the types of data collected by the app, such as photos, location and contact information, as well as details on the use of the various types of data, for example if they will be used for tracking and if they are attributable to the user. Privacy information is required of anyone who publishes an app, including Apple.