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How “Find Me” works in iOS 13, iPadOS and Catalina macOS

During the first session of Apple’s WWDC 2019, we saw how iOS 13, iPadOS and macOS merged the “Find My iPhone” and “Find My Friends” apps in order to locate our devices and our friends from a single app. The main novelty that accompanies this merger is the ability to locate devices that are not connected. Here are some more details.

The service known as “Find my” is a service that was already very useful to us in the past. When you think you’ve lost a device like your iPhone or iPad, you can locate it on a map through the app available in both iOS and macOS . For your friends who are connected to the app it is useful to know their location at certain times, for example when you have a date and want to know where it is going or when it is heading home and want to know if it arrived safely.

How “Find Me” works in iOS 13, iPadOS and Catalina macOS
How “Find Me” works in iOS 13, iPadOS and Catalina macOS

Now these apps have not only merged but also improved their performance as described by Apple itself:

“Locate a missing device, even if it’s not connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile data network, using a multi-source location. When you mark your device as lost and another Apple user’s device is nearby, it can detect your device’s Bluetooth signal and inform you of its location. It’s completely anonymous and end-to-end encrypted, so everyone’s privacy is protected.

In the inaugural keynote for WWDC 2019, Apple Vice President of Engineering Craig Federighi also highlighted the privacy and security found in this service on iOS 13, iPadOS and Catalina macOS. Federighi confirmed end-to-end encryption

This way we can check that will no longer need the device we want to locate to be connected to the Internet via WiFi or data network , and it will be able to transmit its location by bluetooth when it is close to other Apple devices. It should be noted that this location by other devices can be done even from a computer that is not ours.

Closely related to this security measure is Activation Lock , a feature that now comes to MacBooks with the aim of locking a stolen device. This is to ensure that MacBooks cannot be used by anyone other than the owner.

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