Apple users that have misplaced or lost a device are well aware of just how useful the company's Find My app (opens in new tab) can be but now it looks like the feature will be getting additional functionality in the next update to iOS.
As reported by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), a new safety feature called “Item Safety Alerts” was recently discovered in the iOS 14.5 beta (opens in new tab). When released, this feature will notify users if an unknown device tracked in the Find My app is moving with them so that they can remove it or disable it.
- We've built a list of the best anonymous browsers (opens in new tab) available
- These are the best secure smartphones (opens in new tab) on the market
- Also check out our roundup of the best VPN (opens in new tab) services
While Apple has yet to provide further details on Item Safety Alerts, it appears that the feature is designed to prevent stalkers from tracking others by hiding a Find My-compatible device in their pocket or bag. The iPhone maker previously tested out this feature in early versions of iOS 14.3 (opens in new tab) but it was removed only to be added back again later with the release of the iOS 14.5 beta.
Item Safety Alerts
Apple's Item Safety Alerts feature is enabled by default in the iOS 14.5 beta and it appears that the company is strongly encouraging users against disabling it.
According to a recent Tweet (opens in new tab) from iOS developer and Apple blogger Benjamin Mayo, if you try to disable the feature, Apple displays the following warning: “Turn Off Item Safety Features? The owner of an unknown item will be able to see your location and you will no longer receive notifications when an unknown item is found moving with you.”
It makes sense that Apple has chosen now to address the risk of stalking in its Find My app due to the fact that the company soon plans to open up the app (opens in new tab) to third-party accessories. While hiding an iPhone, iPad or even a MacBook in someone's bag would allow another person to track them, doing so with a Tile tag or even Apple's upcoming AirTags makes a great deal more sense as these items would be harder to find.
Additionally, if an Apple device comes near a supported tracker, these trackers are able to update their location even if they don't have their own connection to the internet.
Being able to quickly find your devices and accessories is an extremely useful feature but there is a possibility of abuse which is why Apple plans to bring Item Safety Alerts to iOS soon.
- We've also featured the best malware removal software (opens in new tab)
Via The Verge (opens in new tab)