Find My

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Find My Friends)

Find My
Developer(s)Apple Inc.
Initial releaseSeptember 19, 2019; 4 years ago (2019-09-19)
Stable release
macOS: 4.0
Operating system
PredecessorFind My iPhone, Find My Friends
TypeLocation aware
Asset tracking
LicenseProprietary license

Find My is an asset tracking service made by Apple Inc.[1] that enables users to track the location of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS devices, AirPods, AirTags and a number of supported third-party accessories through a connected iCloud account.[2] Users can also share their GPS locations to others with Apple devices and view the location of others who choose to share their location. Find My was released alongside iOS 13 on September 19, 2019,[3][4] merging the functions of the former Find My iPhone (known on Mac computers as Find My Mac) and Find My Friends into a single app.[5][6] On watchOS, Find My is separated into three different applications: Find Devices, Find People and Find Items.

After being released on iOS, Find My was later released on iPadOS 13.1 on September 24, 2019[7][8] and macOS 10.15 on October 7, 2019.[9]


The original "Find My iPhone" app was announced on June 10, 2009 and released in June 2010 alongside iPhone OS 3. At the time, it required a paid subscription to Apple's MobileMe service.[10] It was made free of charge with the iOS 4.2.1 update on November 22, 2010, but only for devices introduced in 2010.[11][12][13] With the release of iCloud in October 2011, the service became free for all users. A Mac version called "Find My Mac" was added to OS X 10.7 Lion.[14]

"Find My Friends" was announced on October 4, 2011, the day before Steve Jobs’ death, and released on October 12, 2011, several hours before the actual release of iOS 5.[15] In October 2015, Find My Friends was added to to view the location of friends from a web browser.[16]

In iOS 9, both Find My iPhone and Find My Friends became built-in apps, and thus could not be removed from devices.[17] With the release of iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 Catalina, the functionality of both Find My iPhone and Find My Friends was combined into a single application, simply titled Find My.



Find My allows users to share their GPS locations to contacts with an iOS, iPadOS, or macOS device for an hour, until the end of the day, or indefinitely. Once shared, others are able to see the exact location of a person's device on a map and can receive directions to the person's location. Notifications can be set, alerting a user when someone leaves or arrives at a set location.[18]


Users can find the location of their Apple devices and play a sound on the device at maximum volume. A device can also be marked as lost, locking the device with a password and suspending sensitive features such as Apple Wallet. Lost mode also allows a user to leave a message and contact information on the lock screen of the device.

A user can also choose to erase a device, deleting all content and settings, which is useful if the device contains sensitive information; however, the device can no longer be located after this action is performed. After the erase is complete, the message can still be displayed and the device will be activation locked. This makes it hard for someone to use or sell the device. An Apple ID password is required to turn off Find My, sign out of iCloud, erase the device, or reactivate a device after an activation lock.

Since iOS 15, Apple added a feature to locate an iPhone 11 or later for up to 5 hours after the battery is drained, or up to 24 if it was powered off manually by the user (iPhone SE models excluded), through the power reserve feature.[19]

To be eligible to claim on a stolen or lost iPhone when covered with AppleCare+ with Theft and Loss, Find My must be active on the user's device.[20]


With the release of iOS 14.3, third-party Bluetooth items and accessories with support for the Find My network accessory program can also be tracked, under a separate "Items" tab.[21] If something is lost but out of Bluetooth range, the app will display the last known location until another iOS, iPadOS, or macOS device is nearby. Similar to Apple's own devices, third-party items can be placed into a "lost mode" which prevents others from pairing to the device. Lost items can be identified from within the Find My app, allowing a user to see a message or contact information from the owner of the lost item.

AirTags also use ultra-wideband technology to find lost items (if the Apple device used for searching supports it).

Privacy concerns[edit]

Find My, as well as its predecessor Find My Friends, has raised potential privacy issues arising from the tracking of a user's exact location, without users being notified that they are being tracked. Several safety features allowed a user to share their location only with people they choose and turn off the permission at any time. "Friends" could only track users who had accepted their access request. The user could remove them from access at any time or only make the tracking temporary.[22]

The introduction of item tracking has further prompted concern from some, with fears that the device could be used to potentially track someone's location without their knowledge by placing an AirTag amongst their belongings.[23] Apple has since introduced notifications which alert a user if they are being followed by an unknown device in an attempt to prevent using the device for stalking.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Find My - Official Apple Support". Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  2. ^ "Everything You Need to Know About Apple's Find My Network Accessory Program". MacRumors. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  3. ^ Potuck, Michael (September 10, 2019). "Apple announces iOS 13 release date of September 19". 9to5Mac. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  4. ^ Clover, Juli (September 19, 2019). "Apple Releases iOS 13 With System-Wide Dark Mode, Privacy Updates, Revamped Photos App, Find My App, New Maps Features and More". Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  5. ^ Carman, Ashley (June 3, 2019). "Apple's new Find My app will find your devices even if they're offline". The Verge. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  6. ^ Feiner, Lauren (June 3, 2019). "Here's everything Apple just announced: iOS 13, Mac Pro and more". CNBC. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  7. ^ Mayo, Benjamin (September 24, 2019). "Apple releases iPadOS 13.1 featuring Dark Mode, new Home Screen and multitasking, Arcade, and more". 9to5Mac. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  8. ^ Clover, Juli (September 24, 2019). "Apple Releases iPadOS With New Home Screen, Multitasking Improvements, Apple Pencil Updates and More". Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  9. ^ Clover, Juli (October 7, 2019). "Apple Releases macOS Catalina With Find My, Screen Time, and No More iTunes". Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  10. ^ Slivka, Eric (June 8, 2010). "iPhone OS 3.0 Launching June 17th - MMS, Tethering in Some Countries". MacRumors. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  11. ^ Snell, Jason (November 22, 2010). "Apple makes Find My iPhone free for some iOS 4.2 users". Macworld. IDG. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
  12. ^ "Find My iPhone is now free". 9to5Mac. November 22, 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  13. ^ Aamoth, Doug (November 23, 2010). "Find My iPhone "App of the Week" – Techland – Time". Time. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  14. ^ "Find My Mac Coming in OS X Lion". 9to5Mac. February 26, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  15. ^ Christian Zibreg (October 12, 2011). "Find My Friends app goes live ahead of iOS 5 release | 9to5Mac | Apple Intelligence". 9to5Mac. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  16. ^ "Find My Friends pops up on". iMore. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  17. ^ Hughes, Neil (June 10, 2015). "Find My iPhone, Friends become built-in apps in Apple's first iOS 9 beta, cannot be uninstalled". AppleInsider. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  18. ^ "Get notified when a friend's location changes in Find My on iPad". Apple Support. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  19. ^ Zibreg, Christian (January 13, 2022). "What is Power Reserve on Apple devices? How does it work? What's it good for?". Retrieved November 4, 2023.
  20. ^ "AppleCare Products - iPhone". Apple. Retrieved July 10, 2023.
  21. ^ "How Apple's New Find My Service Locates Missing Hardware That's Offline". TidBITS. June 21, 2019. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  22. ^ "Everything You Need to Know About the Evil, Useful Find My Friends App [FAQ]". Cult of Mac. October 31, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  23. ^ Song, Victoria (March 1, 2022). "AirTags are dangerous — here's how Apple could fix them". The Verge. Retrieved June 5, 2023.

External links[edit]