Apple is working on a new app codenamed “GreenTorch” to replace the Find My Friends and Find my iPhone apps. The company will be merging both these apps into one.
Like other recent apps from Apple, this new app will also be a Marzipan app which will be available on both iOS and macOS. The app will include a new “Find Network” functionality which will allow one to track their device even when it is not connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network. It will be interesting to see how this feature works as it is common for thieves to immediately power off stolen iPhones to ensure they cannot be tracked using Find my iPhone.
The unified app will allow a user of a family group to track the location of everyone in the group along with their other Apple devices including AirPods. Similar to the existing Find my iPhone app, users would be able to put their devices in “lost mode” or make it play a sound to find it.
What’s interesting is that Apple is seemingly working on a new hardware product alongside this new unified tracking app. When used in conjunction, users would be able to track any device or object to which this new tag dubbed “B3898” will be attached to. If a device attached to a tag goes too far away from it, users will receive a notification on their device. It will be possible for users to set up areas or geolocations where the item can be left without the tag.
The tag will also store the contact information of its owner which can be read by any iPhone or iPad once it is put into “lost mode.” When the tag is read by an iPhone, the owner of the tag will automatically receive a notification on their device.
It is unclear when Apple will unveil this tag and how much it will cost. A September or October launch seems likely as the unified app will be a part of iOS 13.
The new tag hardware product from Apple definitely sounds interesting. It looks like Apple is looking to offer a product similar to Tile and use its massive iPhone user base to leverage on it. However, the success and failure of the product will ultimately depend on its pricing.