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How the Find My app works, which even finds offline devices [atualizado: mais detalhes]

Even before the opening keynote of WWDC19 (last Monday, when we met iOS 13 and other Ma operating systems), we had already peeked (thanks to the developer Guilherme Rambo) some news of the new OS. In this cake of new features was the new app Search (Find My), which merges the functions of the ?old? apps Search My Friends (Find My Friends) and Search My iPhone (Find My iPhone).

In an attempt to make its systems even more independent, Apple has released the new app for both iOS / iPadOS 13 and macOS Catalina 10.15. In this sense, the idea that it serves as a main resource to track lost devices, search family / friends, among others.

However, perhaps the most interesting function of the new app is that it can also track devices that are offline something until then impossible, such as a closed / sleeping MacBook or an iPhone without internet access. This, of course, is not something "magically" done; the way the feature works is very interesting.

How the new Search app works

According to Apple, even if a device is offline, it sends low-power Bluetooth signals that are picked up by other nearby Apple devices. So if there are any with an iPhone or iPad within Bluetooth range of a Mac (or vice versa), they will share their respective locations with each other.

You may be wondering, "But can anyone see my location?" at the! According to Ma, all data is encrypted and secure, so that none of the devices of other people (who are transmitting this data) will have access to your device's location only you, from your iCloud account.

In short: Apple used the Bluetooth capabilities of its products to create a chain of gadgets which connects to each other to transmit location data continuously; pretty much one sensates in iGadgets.

As Ma Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said, the feature is designed to use minimal data and power; therefore, it has a negligible impact on both the mobile data consumption of the devices and the battery as it leverages existing data traffic.

Activation Lock (Activation lock)

Apple also added (finally!) The Activation Lock feature to Macs equipped with the T2 security chip (iMac Pro, Mac mini 2018, MacBook Air 2018 and MacBook Pro 2018/2019). In fact, the feature was already available for Macs without the T2 chip, but it worked a little differently as it was still possible to format the machine even after iCloud lost it.

Now, on these newer computers, the mobsters who get their hands on your Mac won't be able to reuse the machine after formatting it just like on iPhones / iPads, this will only be possible if it has the credentials of your Apple ID. Of course, despite the added level of security, your Mac can still be stolen for parts removal but at least you are sure that your data will not be accessed or stolen by others.

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The news of the Search app will be available on iOS 13, iPadOS 13 and macOS Catalina 10.15, which have already had their first beta releases. Activation Lock, in turn, will be available with macOS Catalina 10.15 for all compatible Macs.

via MacRumors, 9to5Mac

Update 06/06/2019 s 08:23

Apple provided more details about the inner workings of the Search for Apple app. WIRED.

According to the publication, the new offline device tracking system actually works on a network, starting from the devices that are closest to the gadget lost / stolen for Apple systems. But here's the "news": for you to see the location of this device you must have at least one other device from Ma.

This is because when setting up the Find MyAt least two Apple devices must generate a private key (as the company had said, the entire encrypted process) that shared between them. To ensure the security of this key, it is stored locally (presumably in the Secure Enclave iPhone or Mac T2).

This way, when a device enters Lost Mode, it sends Bluetooth signals to iGadgets closest to an encrypted public key (different from the one set in the Search app), which is sent by nearby devices to Apple servers but cannot be read by either Apple gadgets around.

Thus, when a user searches for a device lost by the Search app, that device will send a second key corresponding to that of the lost device that will be able to decrypt it indicating the geographical location of that device. Too much, no?