iPhone XS Find My appSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Apple opened up its 'Find My' app to developers at WWDC.
  • However, there are strict restrictions on using it.
  • That's according to a "secret document" obtained by The Washington Post.

The Washington Post says a secret document obtained from Apple reveals strict constraints placed on developers who want to use Apple's 'Find My' app.

According to the report:

During Apple's annual developer's conference last month, it announced that smaller developers would finally have access to its "Find My" app, a move that on the surface could appease developers who have asserted that Apple has too much power...

It turns out the announcement was not what it seemed, according to a secret Apple document obtained by The Washington Post...

The move was meant to open up 'Find My' to accessories like Tile, but it seems details of the announcement may have told a different story:

But the details of the announcement — kept secret by a confidentiality agreement all developers were required to sign — tell a different story. A 50-page PDF obtained by The Post shows Apple has placed strict restrictions on how consumers will be able to use the app. Apple customers who use Find My to locate a device will be barred from using other competing services simultaneously, the document says.

Developers called the move "unusual", for example, if you connect headphones to a device, you can use them with both Apple Music and Spotify.

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Apple said that the resource was useful to smaller companies that didn't have resources to build such an app:

If you were a smaller player interested in getting into the finding space and you haven't built a finding network, this allows you to do that"

Apple denied the policy was anti-competitive. Developers also reportedly had to sign a 'Limited License to Find My Network Accessory Spec' document, preventing them from sharing details about the new specification, threatening them with legal action. Hence why the revelation about the policy was made anonymously. You can read the full report here.