Evidence of Apple's tracking fob appears in iOS 13 beta

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

One of the changes coming with macOS Catalina, announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, is a redesigned Find My iPhone app called “Find My.” As we mentioned, the new app will be able to locate your MacBook (or whatever) even when it is offline by using the Bluetooth of other nearby Apple devices.

Pinpointing anonymously via other nearby Bluetooth signals is akin to how other tracking products such as Tile or TrackR find your stuff. So it might not be a surprise that Apple might have a similar tracking solution in the works. In fact, we reported on it back in April.

Although Apple did not announce anything about a tracking fob you can find through Find My, iOS developer Steve Moser discovered a reference to a device within the Find My app code in iOS 13 beta. Within the programming is an asset package designated “Tag1,1.” This code is similar to that used for pairing by proximity, much the way AirPods work.

Rumors about an Apple tracking product known only as “B389” have been floating around since April. It would make sense that if the device were getting close to release, Cupertino would have iOS ready to receive it.

In addition to the Tag1,1 code, an assumed mockup of the device was also found (lead image). According to 9to5Mac, this image matches the Apple tracking device that has been described by sources working on the project.

At this point it is all anonymous sources and speculation, so retain your skepticism for now. However, iOS 13 is expected to be released this September — if the code is for Apple Tag (or whatever they decide to call it), we will probably get an official announcement around then.

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