Secure Item Tracking
Last year in iOS 13, Apple pioneered a very secure and private crowdsourced network for helping users find lost iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other Apple devices, and it’s already pretty much a given that this will extend to Apple’s much-rumoured AirTags once they’re eventually released.
However, you won’t need to buy AirTags to take advantage of Apple’s highly secure and private “Find My” network, as Apple has announced that with iOS 14, it will be opening the whole thing up to third-party partners, which could easily include companies like Tile.
Since item tracking tags don’t even use Wi-Fi let alone contain the necessary hardware to connect to the internet, location tracking networks rely on other nearby devices to help locate missing items for you. In other words, if you leave your keys behind at a restaurant, when you later go looking for them in the corresponding app, hopefully another nearby smartphone will be able to pick up their Bluetooth signal and report a location on their behalf. The catch is that this only works if somebody else at the location (the restaurant, in this scenario), is also using the same app and service.
With Apple’s Find My network, however, every iPhone, iPad, and MacBook on the planet will be part of the service, which gives you a much higher probability of finding your missing items. On top of that, Apple has found some really clever ways to make sure that your information stays secure, including randomized, rotating Bluetooth addresses, meaning that it shouldn’t be possible to track devices on the Find My network in order to stalk somebody or even know how often they visit a given location.