Google has announced the global launch of a new feature ‘Find My Device’ for Android devices, beginning with the U,S. and Canada. This feature leverages a crowdsource network of over a billion Android smartphones to assist in locating misplaced Android devices and other valuable items equipped with compatible accessories like location trackers.

Let's delve into what this entails and how it operates:

Locating offline devices

Previously accessible via a browser client, ‘Find My Device’ is now offered as an Android app, enabling users to locate their Android-powered devices either by remotely ringing them or by pinpointing their location on the in-app map. In a blog, Google stated that this feature can locate devices even without an active internet connection, including Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro smartphones, which can be traced even when powered off.

Compatible Bluetooth tags

Commencing in May, users will have the ability to locate essential items like keys, wallets, and luggage that are tagged with Bluetooth tracker tags. This functionality will extend to third-party Bluetooth trackers from companies like Chipolo and Pebblebee. These Bluetooth trackers will also be equipped with unknown tracker alerts across both Android and iOS devices to safeguard users against unwanted tracking and stalking.

Google confirmed that companies such as eufy, Jio, Motorola, and others will introduce Bluetooth tags compatible with the ‘Find My Device’ feature later this year.

Finding nearby items

Find My Device feature will include a built-in ‘Find Nearby’ option to detect a lost device or an item with a ‘Find Nearby’ button.

Additional features

The ‘Find My Device’ network for Android is compatible with Google Nest devices, enabling users to ascertain the proximity of a lost device to their home. Users can also share accessories such as Bluetooth tags, facilitating multiple users in tracking such devices.

Google further states that the ‘Find My Device’ network incorporates multiple layers of security measures to ensure users’ safety and privacy, while also granting full control to the user over the devices linked to the network. These measures encompass end-to-end encryption of location data and aggregated reporting of device locations, an innovative safety feature that enhances protection against unauthorised tracking leading back to your home or private spaces.

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