(Pocket-lint) - Apple is planning to combine its Find my iPhone and Find my Friends services into a single app and open it up to non-Apple devices with a new hardware product that can track you.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple is working on an app, codenamed GreenTorch, which is being tested by engineers at the company. It will reportedly be released for both iOS and macOS as a Marzipan-based application. Perhaps most interestingly, however, is that Apple is working on a new hardware product to go with it. Currently, it's known as “B389” by the people working on it.
Apple wants to compete with Tile, with this new combined app and hardware. They'll be able to track both Apple and non-Apple devices, even if not connected to the internet, via Wi-Fi or cellular. For the most part, the new service will work like the existing Find my iPhone and Friends apps. You can put devices into “lost mode” and have them emit a sound so you can find them, for instance.
The Find my Friends aspect of the app will let you share your location with your family and friends. You can also request for your friends to share their locations with you so that you can get a notification for they visit or leave a specific location. Sounds kinda creepy, but also handy.
As for the B389 hardware, you'll be able to attach it to items you want to track. When paired with iCloud, you'll get a notification if it goes out of range. You can also share its location with friends, and your contact info can be added to the tag and displayed on a nearby Apple device when the item is in “lost mode". Apple also wants to use a crowdsourcing to help users find their lost items.
We don't yet know when this combo will be unveiled, but we might here more at WWDC 2019 in June or even the next iPhone event this autumn.