Starting with iOS 13, iPadOS and macOS Catalina, Users will now be able to take advantage of the new FindMy App which replaces Find my Friends and Find my iPhone apps from the earlier version.
The new Find my app has several improvements over the legacy apps that we will cover in this tutorial. We will also try and answer the most frequently asked questions surrounding the setup and use of this app.
- 1 Where is Find My Friends and Find My iPhone in iOS 13 and iPadOS?
- 2 How to set up and use Find My app on your MacBook
- 3 How to share your location with a friend using Find my App
- 4 How to Remove a contact from your Find My app
- 5 How to track down your lost or stolen iPhone using Find My App
- 6 Use Find My App on Apple Watch to connect with Friends
- 7 Enable location services for your MacBook when using Find My app
- 11 Google Maps iPhone App Tips That You Don’t Know About
- Why do apps want permission to access Bluetooth in iOS 13 and iPadOS?
- 5 hidden iOS 13 gems that no one is talking about
- How the new Find My app privately locates your offline devices
- What to Do If Your Device Doesn’t Show Up in Find My iPhone
So, let’s get started…
Where is Find My Friends and Find My iPhone in iOS 13 and iPadOS?
There are two major changes in Find My app. Using this app you can now stay in touch with the people you care about by receiving their location information. Users who used third-party apps to manage this can now easily accomplish this using the new app.
Find My app also helps with offline finding. The app can track down your devices even when they are not connected to the internet.
How to set up and use Find My app on your MacBook
The setup process is automatic when you upgrade your MacBook to macOS Catalina. The process runs off your Apple Id. All Apple devices that you use with the same Apple id are automatically integrated into the FindMy App.
When you launch FindMy app on your MacBook, you will find two main tabs on the left hand side. These are:
- People – This shows all the people that are sharing their location information with you and allows you to share your location with your contacts ( This feature replaces the old Find my friends) functionality.
- Devices – This shows you the location of all the Apple devices that are registered to the Apple Id you are currently using. The summary also shows you the location of devices registered to Family plan members if you are using Family Sharing.
You can use the People tab of Find my App to accomplish the following:
Use the People tab in FindMy app to share your location with a single contact or multiple contacts. If you are simply using it for directions or locating someone in a crowded place such as a mall, you can use the ‘Share for an hour’. On the other hand, if you are trying to keep track of your loved ones, you can choose ‘Share indefinitely’. Here is how you can do this.
- Click on the people tab or use (Command +1) to open up the tab.
- Click on ‘+’ next to Share My Location at the bottom left corner of your screen
- You will see a list of contacts that you can choose your location with
- Click on the contacts to select them
- Next, click on Send at the top right of the screen
- Select from the three choices: Share for one hour, Share for the day or Share indefinitely
- Based on your selection, your location will be shared with the chosen contact/s
When using Find My app on your iPhone, you can easily share your location with a contact using the ‘People’ tab. Scroll up on the people screen to locate ‘Share My Location’ functionality.
The options for ‘Share for One hour’, ‘Share Until End of Day’ and ‘Share indefinitely’ are available once you select a contact and tap on ‘Send’ on your iPhone.
How to Remove a contact from your Find My app
Assuming that you are not sharing your location information indefinitely, you can remove the contacts from the ‘People’ tab in the app.
In order to do so, right click on the desired contact and choose ‘Remove contact name’. This action removes the contact from your People list. You can always add them back later on if you choose to.
On your iPhone, swipe left on the contact in the ‘People’ tab and you will find the option to add the contact into your favorites or delete it from your device.
How to track down your lost or stolen iPhone using Find My App
Locate your iPhone or Apple Watch using Find My app on your MacBook
This brings us to the ‘Devices’ tab of the Find My app which is the more valuable component of this app.
In order to locate your misplaced or lost iPhone or Apple Watch
- Open up FindMy App on your MacBook
- Go to Devices tab or use Command+2
- Next, click on the lost device from the device list under ‘My Devices’.
- Find the location of the device on the map.
- Click on the little ‘i’ (information) icon next to the device on the map to show options
You can use ‘Play Sound’ to ping the device in case you think the lost iPhone or Watch is in the vicinity of your home or car.
If you think that your device has been stolen or lost, you can mark it as lost by choosing ‘Mark it as lost’. You can also use ‘Notify when found’ to set up a notification in case the device is found.( more on this later!)
The Directions action opens up Apple Maps and shows you the direction from your current location to the location of the lost or misplaced device.
The one critical feature that is not available via the map is the ‘Erase device’ feature. In order to completely erase the device if you are certain that it has been stolen and you want to protect your privacy, right-click on the device on the list and you can select ‘Erase this device’.
No MacBook? Use Find My feature on any web browser to locate your lost iPhone
It happens to the best of us. You have lost your iPhone or Apple Watch but do not have your MacBook handy to track down the device. No problem. You can use the browser from any computer to track down your lost or stolen device.
The only caveat is that you will need to know your Apple Id and associated password.
- Open any browser and type in www.icloud.com/#find
- Enter your Apple Id and password
- Continue forward when you see the 2 factor code by clicking on ‘Allow’ and then ‘Continue’
- This will open up a map and show you the location of all your Apple devices
- Click on the drop down ‘All devices’ from the top of the screen
- Select the misplaced or lost iPhone or Watch that you want to track
- This will show you the location of the device
- You can also choose to ‘Erase device’ or put the device on ‘Lost Mode’
As of writing this article, the FindMy feature via iCloud web browser has not been updated. It still shows the old ‘ Find my iPhone’ and ‘Find my friends’ features.
Use a Friend’s iPhone to locate your missing iPhone
Starting with iOS 13/ iPadOS, you can now use a friend’s iPhone to track down your missing your lost Apple device. This requires you to use the ‘Help a Friend‘ feature of the new Find my app on their device.
- Open up Find My App on their iPhone
- Tap on ‘Me’ at the bottom of the screen
- Scroll down and tap on ‘Help a Friend’
- This opens up iCloud.com on their device
- Enter ‘your’ Apple ID and associated credentials
- Get started with locating your lost device and other relevant actions
Use Find My App on Apple Watch to connect with Friends
Find My app has also been made available on the Apple Watch starting with watchOS 6. The app on Apple Watch provides features which are similar to ‘Find my Friends’ functionality. You can use the app on Apple Watch to locate your friends, share your location with your contacts and manage sharing permissions etc via the ‘Me’ tab.
The functionality to track your lost devices is not there in this app version for Apple Watch.
Enable location services for your MacBook when using Find My app
As someone who is always wary of providing location access to apps, I find that FindMy app must have your location in order to function properly.
When you have location services disabled for you MacBook, FindMy simply doesn’t show the device in the context of a map. You can still ‘erase the device’, ‘Play a Sound’ et al but locating the device becomes difficult without the coordinates.
- Click on menu at the top of your MacBook
- Select System Preferences > Security and privacy
- Click on Location Services on the left and scroll down on the right to locate ‘FindMy’
- Make sure to enable location services for the app
The same is true for your other Apple devices. Make sure to enable location services for this app on your iPhone when you update to iOS 13.
the new Find My app adds new and interesting features to making it easier to track your Apple devices, staying connected with friends via the ‘people’ functionality and most importantly allowing users to leverage the ‘Help a friend’ functionality on a different iPhone to track down your lost iPhone or other Apple device.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.