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Use the new Find My app to hunt down your friends and your iPhone

You'll use Apple's merged app in iOS 13 to locate what you love.

- 03:22

The new Find My app icon. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

As of iOS 13 , Apple has merged Find My iPhone and Find My Friends into one app. The combined app, now called Apple Find My, has a new look but it works the same way it always has. So if you were to, Heaven forbid, lose your new iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro, you could still track it down using your iCloud account. 

The new Find My app joins a healthy list of new features Apple added to iOS 13 and iPadOS, including dark mode, a swear-resistant gesture keyboard (or is it?), and a quicker way of connecting to Wi-Fi networks

The Find My app is included in iOS 13 and iPadOS, so you won't need to do anything special to download it. Just update your iOS device, and the two apps will have merged on their own. 

Find devices and friends

The Find My app has three main tabs: People, Devices and Me. 

The People tab is where you'll find any of your contacts that were previously in the Find My Friends app, including anyone in your Apple Family Sharing group. A map takes up most of the screen, with a list of your contacts down below. Tap on a contact to zoom in on their location and view options such as getting directions to them or creating a notification. 

Notifications can be useful if you want to know when a friend leaves or arrives at a location, and prior to iOS 13, your contacts didn't know when you created a notification. New to iOS 13, your contacts will receive an alert whenever you create a notification related to their location -- no more staying up to date about their location without them knowing (and that's a good thing). 

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The Devices tab lists all of the Apple devices signed into your iCloud account, as well as any devices attached to your Family Sharing group, say your spouse's, parents' or kids'. You can view all of them on a map, or tap on an individual device for information. 

Find My will include the last time the device was located, its current battery level, get directions to the iPhone or play a lost sound to help find the device. You can also mark the device as lost, activating Lost Mode, to help in its recovery. 

The Me tab is where you'll find options to stop sharing your location with your friends, edit location names, and turn friend requests on or off. 


Apple uses some pretty cool tech to find lost devices. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Find your Apple device, even if it's offline

The most notable new feature in Find My is how Apple locates a lost device, even if it's offline. Apple hasn't revealed much about how the new feature works, but we do know that as long as your lost device is powered on, it can be found by nearby Apple devices, even if a thief has turned off all internet connectivity. 

Using your lost device's Bluetooth signal, nearby iPhones, iPads and Macs running iOS 13, iPadOS, or MacOS Catalina, will report the exact location of the lost gadget back to Apple. You'll then receive an alert where the device is located -- all anonymously, encrypted, and without any interaction by those who are near your lost device. 

That means if you leave your iPad in an airport, someone who also has iOS 13 installed on their iPhone can simply walk past your lost iPad and their phone will recognize its Bluetooth signal as a lost device, then send you an alert with your iPad's location, all without that person ever knowing your iPad was lost or having to interact with their phone at all. 

Apple is essentially turning all of its hardware into anonymous search parties, and it's pretty darn cool. 

Hopefully, Apple will detail exactly how this new feature works at some point. It's fascinating and sure to help many lost or stolen Apple devices find their way back to their rightful owners.

If you're looking for more iOS 13 and iPadOS tips and tricks, make sure to check out our complete guide. Tips just like this one, plus many more, are covered there.