iOS 13 brought us numerous changes including a newly designed Photos app with a better management system and more editing options, a much more advanced and detailed Maps app, and better messaging with Animoji. Among these changes is a revamped Find My application. Before the update, iOS had a couple of similar apps and thus, there’s been some uncertainty about this new application and we’re going to clear this up for you.
Part 1. Find My App in iOS 15/14/13/iPadOS/watchOS. What’s New?
So, what actually is the Find My app that Apple introduced as part of iOS 13? It’s actually very simple and it is basically two older apps pulled into one. Find Friends and Find iPhone. Since both of these applications performed in similar ways (providing information about other iOS devices in the form of a map), putting them in one place is a natural thought.
Admittedly there isn’t a lot of differences to report. You will still be seeing everything you’ll have saw on Find Friends and Find My iPhone before updating your iPhone/iPad iOS. Moving on: what are the changes that Apple made?
Detect Location via Bluetooth
The biggest and undoubtedly most impressive update is that iPhone locations can be detected without an active Carrier Network or Wi-Fi connection. This ability utilises GPS data gathered from other Apple devices assisted by passive Bluetooth signals.
For example: you lose your iPhone and it can’t find a Wi-Fi or Carrier connection. Bluetooth signals are emitted and picked up by nearby Apple devices (e.g. Mac laptops, iPhones, iPads, etc.). This information is sent to Apple’s servers and effectively displayed on the Find My app for you to see. Don’t worry: all of this GPS data is heavily encrypted and only your authorised devices have the encryption key required to access it.
Fresh User Interface
In addition, the app got a fresh user interface design, looking cleaner than before. Users can also assist their friends to find lost iOS devices by signing into the iCloud dashboard and clicking “Help a Friend”.
Overall, as you’ll see when you check out this new Find My app for yourself, only a handful of minor changes are reflected in this update. In this case, even the smallest of changes can drastically improve what is nothing more than a simplistic GPS-based iOS app.
Part 2. How to Use Find My App to Locate Device?
2.1 How to Locate My iPhone with Find My App in iOS 13/14/15?
Wondering how to locate my iPhone? Considering the new app, it’s no surprise that so many users are in the same boat. What might be surprising, however, is that the steps to locate an iOS device are pretty much the same.
For devices that have the Family Sharing feature turned on and active, here’s what you have to do:
Step 1. Retrieve a family member’s iOS device which is connected to you via Family Sharing.
Step 2. Open the Find My application and wait a moment while the app synchronises the data of all devices shared with the account.
Step 3. Tap “Devices” at the bottom of the app and tap on your device from the list.
Step 4. Give the map a moment to readjust and it will focus on the last active location of your iPhone. If the circle is grey, then this indicates that the device is not online (either due to being out of charge or being unable to receive a signal).
Even though learning how to locate my iPhone is different when using the new application, it’s not an entirely new process. Alternatively, users can still go online and locate their iPhones from the iCloud dashboard:
Step 1. Go to iCloud.com and use your iCloud account to sign in.
Step 2. Click “Find iPhone” on the main menu.
Step 3. Click “All Devices” and choose your iPhone, and you can now view the device location on an interactive map.
Step 4. Again, a grey circle means the device is turned off or isn’t receiving a signal. A green circle means that it is online.
Step 5 (optional) – If the map doesn’t provide a precise enough location, click on the circle and then the “i”, and press “Play Sound”.
This displays the importance of having Find My iPhone enabled. Without it turned on, you can’t use it to locate an iOS device if you’ve lost it.
2.2 How to Locate Friends Using Find My App in iOS 15/14/13/iPadOS?
If you find it difficult to locate your friends whenever you use the Find My app, we’ve got you covered. The steps for this are similar to how they were before, so things aren’t any harder from a user’s perspective.
Step 1. Unlock your iPhone or iPad and open “Find My”.
Step 2. At the bottom of the app tap on the “People” tab.
Step 3. Tap on the “People” menu and drag it upwards. Anyone who has willingly shared with you their location will now be shown.
Step 4. From this list, tap a specific friend whose location you’re trying to view.
Step 5. The app will automatically adjust the map and focus on the friend’s location. On the card at the bottom of the app, you’ll see when the location was last updated, how far away they are from you, and a couple of other details.
Step 6. Below the contact card, you can tap on “Add…”. If you have granted location access to this friend, you’ll also be able to send them an alert when you’ve arrived somewhere (or after you’ve left).
After you tap on a contact, there’s a chance that no location appears. This doesn’t mean there’s an issue with your iOS device. Rather, it simply means they either: don’t have a network connection, the device’s battery died, or they revoked location sharing with you.
The jury is still out on whether combining those apps into Find My is the right decision, but so far it seems like it was the right move for Apple. While using the features is relatively identical to when the apps were separate, convenience plays a big role in Apple’s decision. not to mention how it has contributed to decluttering!