Apple’s Find My app has long been a handy way of keeping track of your iPhone, MacBook, and other Apple devices, but in the most recent iOS 1.5 beta, Apple looks to be expanding item-tracking to a wider range of non-Apple products.
First spotted by MacRumors, in the third beta for iOS 14.5, Apple has added a new tab for “Items” in the Find My app, allowing users to add select gadgets like Beats headphones and Belkin’s soon-to-be-released wireless earbuds to your list, along with other everyday items like backpacks, luggage, and more.
As before, the Find My app will allow people to more easily locate lost gadgets or items by pinning their location on a map, even if the device is not connected to a Wi-Fi or a mobile network.
In previous versions of the iOS 14.5 beta, item-tracking was only accessible by activating a hidden developer setting or going to a special URL on an iPhone or iPad. However, by making item-tracking visible in the iOS 14.5 beta, Apple is signalling that the new feature is close to getting an official release.
Typing findmy://items into Safari will take you to this hidden UI in Find My! pic.twitter.com/CakKBGEuNh
— David Van Chu (@davidvanchu) January 13, 2021
However, the big picture is that with the addition of item-tracking to the Find My app, Apple is also paving the way for AirTags, Apple’s long-rumoured alternative to tracking devices from Tile, Samsung, and others.
One major difference between AirTags and similar competitors is that it looks like Apple will be including support for Ultra Wideband, which should allow for increased location accuracy compared to standard Bluetooth trackers.
And with rumours that Apple is gearing up for an upcoming product announcement event reportedly scheduled for sometime later this month, Apple seems to have a full slate of products planned that could include the release of iOS 14.5, AirTags, and multiple new iPads.