While Apple’s AirTags have yet to be formally announced, this program was seen as a way for Apple to level the playing field with competing Bluetooth location trackers, like Tile, and avoid accusations of Apple monopolising the market:
In a new report today by The Washington Post, there are more aspects to this program that haven’t been previously detailed, including far stricter rules for third-party companies using the Find My app: According to an anonymous developer who shared a secret 50-page PDF from Apple about Find My, customers who use Apple’s app to locate a device will be barred from using third-party services simultaneously. Although the details remain sparse, this suggests that while you will be able to link a Tile tracker to Find My and use Apple’s app to locate a lost wallet, for example, you would then be prevented from using Tile’s own app to do the same. Additionally, because of Apple’s restrictions to “always allow” location access, every outside company will have to ask each Apple user for permission to obtain their location, which is a notable hindrance for item location apps.
Another issue pointed out by developers is their limited access to the iPhone’s Bluetooth antenna and other Apple hardware: While the Find My app can use these pieces of hardware whenever it needs to, third-party software can only use the Bluetooth antenna within certain thresholds, and if the developers go beyond that Apple cuts their access off and prevents the software from working. Notably, according to these developers, Apple does not inform them what the specific threshold is:
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