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Since introducing the unified Find My app, Apple has been working to improve the Find My experience. iOS 15 brings some major new features to Find My, including features like live locations and the ability to track an iPhone even after it's been erased or powered off.

iOS-15-Find-My-Feature.jpg

This guide covers everything that Apple added to the Find My app in iOS 15.

Live Locations

When you track a friend or a family member using the Find My app, it now shows continuous streaming updates on their location rather than updating with a new location every few minutes.

Apple says that this feature is designed to provide an immediate sense of speed, direction, and progress when you're looking at someone's location.

Locate Lost Devices That Are Off

Devices that have been turned off can still be tracked by the Find My network in iOS 15. If a device was low on battery power or turned off by a thief, it can still be found when it's close to another Apple device.

iphone-power-off-ios-15-find-my.jpg

The Find My network is a feature that Apple introduced with iOS 13, and it enabled Apple devices to be located even without a WiFi or cellular connection by leveraging other nearby iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

In iOS 15, Apple has extended the Find My network to work with devices that are turned off as well. Apple has not outlined just how this feature works, but either the U1 chip, Bluetooth, or NFC continues to be powered in the background even when your device is off or out of battery, though in the case of battery, tracking may last a limited number of hours.

Apple has a similar feature for Car Keys that uses NFC, and it lasts for about five hours after an iPhone's battery dies. In this case, it lets you continue to unlock your car if your iPhone is dead.

For this feature to work, the Find My network feature must be enabled. It's on by default, but you can double check by going to your profile, tapping on Find My, selecting Find My iPhone, and then making sure "Find My network" is toggled on.

Locate Lost Devices That Have Been Erased

If someone steals your iPhone and then erases it, in iOS 15, it's still going to show up in the Find My app, and it will be trackable even after it's been wiped.

The feature is tied to Activation Lock, which prevents someone from using your iPhone without your Apple ID and password. In iOS 14 and prior iOS updates, erasing a device would leave Activation Lock on so no one could use your iPhone without your password, but erasing a device did prevent Find My from functioning.

A wiped iPhone would not show up in the Find My app, but now, erasing an iPhone no longer works that way. If Activation Lock is on (i.e., it wasn't wiped using your username and password to disable Activation Lock), it's tied to your account and locatable using Find My.

Combined with the feature for tracking a device that's turned off, the Find My app serves as a much stronger theft deterrent.

To prevent someone from being tricked into purchasing a device that's tied to your account, the Hello screen will make it clear that the device is locked, locatable using Find My, and the property of someone else.

Separation Alerts

With Separation Alerts, the Find My app can let you know if an iPhone or iPad is left behind by alerting you on one of the other devices with you.

find-my-ios-15-separation-alert.jpg

Separation Alerts work for AirTags and for third-party accessories that integrate with the Find My network, so if you leave a wallet or a MacBook behind at a cafe after you walk out with your iPhone, your iPhone will let you know.

find-my-items-left-behind.jpg

Separation Alerts can be toggled on in the Find My app and need to be turned on for each individual item that you own. You can also set exceptions, so if you leave something behind at home on purpose, you won't get an alert.
Find My for AirPods

For AirPods Max and AirPods Pro, the Find My network is able to deliver an approximate location if these items become lost.

AirPods have always shown up in the Find My app, but until now, functionality has been limited. In iOS 14 and earlier versions of iOS, AirPods Pro and Max show up in Find My, but if they're out of Bluetooth range of your own devices, you only see their last known location.

find-my-airpods-pro-ios-15.jpg

With the Find My network, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max can communicate with the Apple devices of others, which lets you track them even when they're out of range of your own devices.

You can get an approximate location using this method, and Apple says it is designed to help you get within Bluetooth range so you can activate the Play a Sound feature to track them down.

Find My Widget

There's now a Find My widget that you can add to the Home screen or the Today View to track items at a glance without having to open up the Find My app.

find-my-widget-ios-15.jpg

Widgets come in two sizes, small and medium, and can be used to track People or Items. The People feature tracks your friends and family members who have location sharing enabled, and the Items widget tracks your AirTag items and third-party accessories that use the Find My network.

Tapping on either Find My widget opens up the full Find My app.

Find My on iPad and Mac

The changes in this guide are applicable to the iPhone, but on the iPad, there's support for Separation Alerts, the Find My Widget, and live locations for family and friends.

Macs with macOS Monterey support the Find My widget and for live locations for family and friends. Offline tracking and tracking for erased devices are features limited to iPhone.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about Find My in iOS 15, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Article Link: What's New With Find My in iOS 15: Tracking When iPhone is Off, Live Locations, Locate After Erase and More
 
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DotCom2

macrumors 603
Feb 22, 2009
5,244
3,955
I hope iOS 15 is improved because on iOS 14.7 and now on 14.7.1 it's shows 12% battery background activity on the Find My App which I find to be an unacceptable amount.
 
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BootsWalking

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2014
1,423
8,247
it now shows continuous streaming updates on their location rather than updating with a new location every few minutes.

This will be awesome. I recently had to help someone navigate around some severe weather and the delayed updates made it more difficult than it needed to be. I imagine there will be lots of scenarios where faster location updates will be incredibly useful.
 
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poorcody

macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2013
1,041
922
I'm looking forward to Live Location. Will both the "watcher" and "watchee" have to have iOS 15?

For watching on the Mac, I assume it will require Montery?
 
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bparzonz

macrumors newbie
Nov 12, 2020
19
13
These articles always mention updates given to airpods variants, but never calrify if they're A1 available updates or apple specific. What about my powerbeats pro?

We got dictated notifications, find my integration, and auto device switching at varying times. Wouldn't mind better tracking too.
 
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MisterSavage

macrumors 68030
Nov 10, 2018
2,943
3,100
Absolutely love these changes. Hope I never have to use them for a lost/stolen phone but great that they're there.
 
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Deguello

macrumors 65816
Jun 29, 2008
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847
Texas
What happens if the thief turns on Airplane mode?

does the find my network still work?
“The Find My network is a feature that Apple introduced with iOS 13, and it enabled Apple devices to be located even without a WiFi or cellular connection by leveraging other nearby iPhones, iPads, and Macs…” which is basically what airplane mode turns off.

Now, if someone can access control panel even on a locked device and kill Bluetooth, it might be hard to find that way.
 
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matrix07

macrumors 604
Jun 24, 2010
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“The Find My network is a feature that Apple introduced with iOS 13, and it enabled Apple devices to be located even without a WiFi or cellular connection by leveraging other nearby iPhones, iPads, and Macs…” which is basically what airplane mode turns off.

Now, if someone can access control panel even on a locked device and kill Bluetooth, it might be hard to find that way.
Yeah what about Bluetooth? I tested with my iPad Air 3 and I can easily turn off Bluetooth using Control Center. It doesn't need my fingerprint at all.
 
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Demonknight

macrumors newbie
Jun 19, 2010
14
2
Yeah what about Bluetooth? I tested with my iPad Air 3 and I can easily turn off Bluetooth using Control Center. It doesn't need my fingerprint at all.
Under Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. Under the "Allow access when locked" section disable "Control Centre". That way you need to unlock the device before you can access that menu.
 
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jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
1,783
3,684
California
These articles always mention updates given to airpods variants, but never calrify if they're A1 available updates or apple specific. What about my powerbeats pro?

We got dictated notifications, find my integration, and auto device switching at varying times. Wouldn't mind better tracking too.

This particular update is specific to AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.
 
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jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
1,783
3,684
California
What happens if the thief turns on Airplane mode?

does the find my network still work?

Airplane Mode doesn't turn off Bluetooth, just WiFi and Cellular. It does still work. I also just experimented with activating Airplane Mode AND turning off Bluetooth and my phone with these deactivated (from Control Center) is still trackable.
 
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Deguello

macrumors 65816
Jun 29, 2008
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847
Texas
Airplane Mode doesn't turn off Bluetooth, just WiFi and Cellular. It does still work. I also just experimented with activating Airplane Mode AND turning off Bluetooth and my phone with these deactivated (from Control Center) is still trackable.
Interesting. Trackable how? What’s left, NFC? How far away does that work?
 
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Salomon100

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2021
3
2
the separation alerts, they work between an iphone and an apple watch. Can anyone confirm this?

p.d: By the way, in ios 14.7 you cannot edit the locations to notify you when you arrive or when you leave. I mean the name of the location to give it a more familiar name such as Gym, Ana's house, etc.
 
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emulajavi

macrumors 6502
Dec 15, 2011
278
676
Airplane Mode doesn't turn off Bluetooth, just WiFi and Cellular. It does still work. I also just experimented with activating Airplane Mode AND turning off Bluetooth and my phone with these deactivated (from Control Center) is still trackable.
Thank you. good to know.
 
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Will_decid3_ltr

macrumors newbie
Jul 30, 2021
1
3
“The Find My network is a feature that Apple introduced with iOS 13, and it enabled Apple devices to be located even without a WiFi or cellular connection by leveraging other nearby iPhones, iPads, and Macs…” which is basically what airplane mode turns off.

Now, if someone can access control panel even on a locked device and kill Bluetooth, it might be hard to find that way.
The Bluetooth toggle in control center does not turn off Bluetooth, it only disconnects all devices. To actually turn it off you would need access to settings.
 
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nexu

macrumors member
Feb 24, 2017
97
255
What stops someone from buying an iPhone SE, turning it off, and planting it on someone they want to stalk? Obviously the privacy implications of these features have not been thought out.
I'm not sure if SE in trackable when powered off.
 
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JosephAW

macrumors 601
May 14, 2012
4,163
5,049
So no one will find your lost iPhone if it’s stolen by android only thieves. :rolleyes:
 
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