The Find My Friends and Find My iPhone apps have had a few changes in iOS 13 and iPadOS. Apple decided to merge both of these apps into one app called ‘Find My’.
The Find My app comes with a few new features, with the main one being the ability to locate missing devices without using WiFi or an LTE connection. For this to work though, you will need to own at least two Apple devices.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new Find Me app and all of its new features, including how to find missing devices, location sharing, and privacy.
How to Find Missing Devices
There are three sections in the Find Me app, which you can flick through by tapping the tabs at the bottom. The left tab is where you can find friends, the middle one is where you can locate your devices, and the right tab is called ‘Me’ which was introduced in beta testing.
Just like the previous Find My iPhone, every one of your Apple devices are displayed. In order for your devices to be located, you need to be signed into iCloud on them and make sure you have the Find My feature enabled.
Each of your devices are listed on the map in the Find My app, and you can zoom in and out to try and get a more precise location of their whereabouts. When you tap on a particular device, you are a given a few options to help you locate it, including directions on Apple Maps, Play a Sound for finding a close-by missing device, and a notification for when it is located if it is offline.
You are also able to mark a certain device as missing. This locks the missing device, deactivates Apple Pay, and places contact information directly onto the lock screen. Additionally, you can also delete all of your data on that device for when you have exhausted all other options. This means you don’t have to worry about someone getting hold of your personal information if your device has been stolen.
Compatible Devices and Location Sharing
The majority of Apple devices support the Find My app, including AirPods, Apple Watch, Mac, and, of course, iPhone and iPad. If you have Family Sharing enabled, all of your household’s devices will be displayed on the app. Additionally, if friends or family have shared their location with you, you can view their current whereabouts under the ‘People’ tab.
You can see who has shared their location with you in the Find Me app. If you want to share your location with others, there is an option in the app for you to do this by tapping the ‘Share My Location’ button.
Pressing on someone’s name in the Find Me App allows you to view their Contacts card so you can send them a message or to get directions to their current whereabouts. There is also an option to remove friends or to disable your location sharing with that person if they are currently a mutual location sharing contact. You are able to share your location for one hour, until the day comes to an end, or even permanently. You can also change these options any time you wish.
When a contact is sharing their location with you, you are given the option to receive notifications when they arrive or leave a certain place. Alternatively, you can also allow a friend to be notified when you arrive or leave a certain a place.
Under the ‘Me’ tab, your current whereabouts is listed, as well as toggles for sharing your location, accepting friend requests, deciding who to get location notifications from, and naming a particular location.
Finding Your Device Without WiFi or LTE
The main feature of iOS 13 is the ability to find missing devices in the Find Me app when they are not connected to WiFi or LTE. You will need another Apple device for this to work, unfortunately.
When a missing device is currently not connected to WiFi or LTE but is near to another device, it can connect to that other device using Bluetooth. This allows the other device to locate its current whereabouts.
In order for this feature to work, both devices need to have Bluetooth enabled. If you have Bluetooth disabled or the lost device has been turned off, then it won’t be trackable. Locating a device using Bluetooth isn’t less effective than using WIFI or LTE. However, instead of blue, offline devices are displayed as gray. You can see when their location was last updated by taking a look at the time displayed.
Privacy and Battery Life
During the testing process, an iPad was set to Airplane mode with Bluetooth enabled. This still allowed the iPad to be located by an iPhone that was in close range. Although, disabling Bluetooth on the iPad stopped it from being located even when using a device to device connection.
All of the Find My system is entirely encrypted, which means other people and Apple cannot get a hold of your data and the location of your devices. Only you can track your devices, so you don’t need to worry about someone obtaining your personal information.
Apple has also confirmed that the Find My app does not affect your device’s battery life, privacy, and data usage.