Apple would be preparing tracker accessory to help users find lost objects using iPhone
An investigation of the MacRumors site identified references to a item tracker that would be being developed by Apple to help users find lost or possibly stolen objects.
The discovery was made by the site in an internal version (not yet publicly distributed by Apple) of the new version of the iPhone operating system, iOS 13, which is expected to be officially released by the company in September, shortly after the announcement of the new iPhones on 9/10.
Object tracker uses Bluetooth
The accessory is round, white and has the logo of the Apple in the center. It is similar to tags Bluetooth sold by other manufacturers and can be attached to virtually any object such as keys, wallets, purses, backpacks and even bicycles to allow the location of these items should the owner lose sight of them.
The leak indicates that the Apple will use round removable batteries, similar to those used in watches and other small electronics.
IOS 13 source code found messages indicating how the accessory integrates with the app Search (which in the new system unifies the “Search My iPhone” and “Search Friends” apps and was renamed “Find My" in English).
A new tab labeled “Items” will appear in Search – next to the People and Devices tabs – and list the personal objects to which the tracker has been attached. As with other tabs, objects are likely to be displayed over a map.
When the user is moved away from one of the tracked items, they will receive a notification on the iPhone and can press a button so that the accessory beeps, making it easier to locate the object.
If you do not wish to be constantly notified, you can define specific places considered “safe”. In these places, even if the object is removed from its owner, the alert will not be issued automatically.
If in fact the item has been lost or stolen, the owner can use the Search app to place it in “Lost Mode”. This mode allows other iPhone users to contact the owner of the object via phone or message if they find it.
Another curious feature found by MacRumors in the iOS 13 source code concerns augmented reality artifacts such as colorful balloons that Apple can use to indicate the whereabouts of objects attached to the tracker.
For example, imagine that a user has lost keys in some room of the house and the keychain has the tracker attached. To locate them the user can open the augmented reality mode and with the camera phone in hand look for a flashy red balloon, which is much easier to find than the tiny keys.
Price and availability
The version of iOS 13 reviewed by MacRumors and from which the above information was obtained is dated June of this year, so it is not known how the development of the tracker is and which of the features will actually be included in the official version of the system.
It is likely, however, that Apple use the new iPhones 11 unveiling event next week to announce the name, availability and price of the accessory. The flagship brand of this segment in the United States is called Tile and costs from $ 25 a unit ($ 103.61) to $ 140 ($ 580.23) in a pack of 8 trackers.
Given the history of Apple, it would not be a surprise if the price charged by the company is higher than the competition.