The news: A new version of Find My is out now for devices running iOS 14.3 or later, offering new functionality for 3rd-party accessories and devices.
Apple has formally announced the Find My network, a “crowdsourced network of hundreds of millions of Apple devices that use Bluetooth wireless technology to detect missing devices or items nearby, and report their approximate location back to the owner”
The frist “Works with Apple Find My” products include Belkin’s SOUNDFORM Freedom earbuds, Chipolo’s ONE Spot tracker and VanMoof’s new S3 and X3 e-bikes
Our take: This is the strangest press release from Apple yet. We know they’ve been working on AirTags, an tile-like tracker, and updated AirPods. But in their big unveil for the Find My network…Apple instead promoted 3rd-party earbuds from Belkin and an item finder from Chipolo (who I’ve never heard of). Why would Apple take this opportunity to specifically promote 3rd-party accessories instead of unveiling their own? It seems to suggest AirTags wouldn’t be coming soon.
But then there’s this:
Today Apple is also announcing a draft specification for chipset manufacturers that will be released later this spring. With this, third-party device makers will be able to take advantage of Ultra Wideband technology in U1-equipped Apple devices, creating a more precise, directionally aware experience when nearby.
We also know that AirTags have a U1 chip inside. And Apple says those U1 specs for 3rd-party manufacturers are coming later this spring. This strongly suggests that AirTags are coming in spring…Apple just doesn’t want another company to beat them to the punch with U1 functionality inside.
If the launch of AirTags wasn’t clear before, this adds even more fuel to the fire.
The news: Apple released a slew of security updates for iOS, watchOS and macOS on Monday morning.
So…what’s new in these updates? Apple says “this update provides important security updates and is recommended for all users”
Specifically, Apple has fixed a WebKit vulnerability that was seemingly pretty important
Available for: iPhone 6s and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation)
Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution
Description: A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved validation.
CVE-2021-1844: Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research
Our take: Looks like these updates were pushed out due to a potential security risk, but there isn’t anything else new to see here. Updating simply nets you better security on your device, which is always recommended.