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Apple Find My Friends, Find My iPhone apps reportedly moving in together

A new unified app will also add item tracking beyond Apple devices.


Apple's Find My iPhone on an iPhone XS Max. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Apple is reportedly planning to combine its Find My iPhone and Find My Friends apps into a single app while also adding personal item tracking. 

The app, code-named GreenTorch, will have all the features of the individual apps as well as improvements allowing users to find an iPhone even if it's not on a Wi-Fi, said Apple news site 9to5Mac, which spoke with people familiar with the app's development. With the app, you'll also be able to share your location and create notifications for when you arrive and leave a specific location. 

Other Apple devices can also be tracked in the unified app, including AirPods, and the company is working on trackers to attach to other items, according to the report. The tags, which are said to be similar to the Bluetooth trackers made by Tile, will trigger notifications when your iPhone gets too far from a tagged item. You'll also be able to exclude certain locations such as your home, putting notifications on hold while you're there. Tag locations will be shareable with friends and family, too. 

While these location capabilities need to be shared by the user according to the report, location tracking and privacy have been issues for Apple and other tech companies. Facebook, for example, will continue to track you even after you deactivate your account, while Google's Sensorvault database is being used by law enforcement for its location records of hundreds of millions of phones around the world, according to a report Saturday by The New York Times

Apple did not immediately respond to a CNET request for comment. 

Although no release details were revealed to 9to5Mac, it speculates it could be announced in September when Apple traditionally makes its new iPhone announcements.  

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