Offline Finding, codenamed Blue Avengers is a feature Apple is expected to release with iOS 13 and macOS Catalina. It uses Bluetooth signals to find your device even when they are offline. When enabled, your device will send out a secure Bluetooth beacon which nearby Apple devices can detect. MacRumors reports that Offline Finding might use augmented reality to find devices.
To enable this feature, iOS 13 and macOS Catalina will run a background process called “Search Party” which will send and receive Bluetooth beacons at regular intervals. A nearby online device running iOS 13 or macOS Catalina can pass this information to their owners. This works even when the device is in “sleep” mode. Apple will use public key encryption so that the information securely transmitted. These public keys will be rotated for additional security.
According to the report by MacRumors, Apple might release a Tile competitor alongside this new feature. Tile is a small Bluetooth device that you can stick on your phone or tablet (or even valets or keys) to easily locate them.
Apple reportedly will release a small Bluetooth device similar to Tile which will use the same technology as Offline Finding on iOS 13 and macOS Catalina. The updated Find My app has an ARKit “star” image which suggests that this feature could use augmented reality to find lost devices.
Code strings found in iOS 13 also suggests that Apple might add a “leashed” option to this feature. With this, your phone can alert you if you leave something with a Bluetooth beacon behind. Imagine you walking out of a coffee shop leaving your AirPods behind. If the AirPod case has a Bluetooth beacon, your phone will tell you that you left it behind.
What’s that one item that you always forget or struggle to find in your home?