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Google to launch Find My Device network for Android this weekend

Google's Find My Device network can help owners track and locate their lost Android phone even if it is switched off.
ohit KVN
Last Updated : 05 April 2024, 11:08 IST
Last Updated : 05 April 2024, 11:08 IST

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Google's Find My Device app is a handy application to track misplaced or stolen Android phones. But, it has one limitation; it cannot find the phone if it is turned off.

During the I/O 2023 event in 2023, Google showcased a new Find My Device with similar capabilities. But, delayed the launch to let Apple roll out the anti-stalking feature first.

Why Google delayed the Find My Device network launch for Apple?

It should be noted that when Apple first launched AirTag in 2019, several people misused the Bluetooth-based tracker to illegally stalk people.

The Cupertino-based company took note of the privacy issue and released an unknown device tracking alert feature to let Apple device owners know that an unknown AirTag is following them. But, it was limited to iPhones and iPads only.

So, in 2023, Apple thought of expanding it to a wider network and teamed up with Google to come up with a universal mechanism to detect and eliminate unknown Bluetooth-based trackers.

Other big brands such as Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security, and Pebblebee lent support for the draft specification.

With this, all branded device users will able to get timely alerts of unknown trackers following them and get rid of them.

For instance, iPhone owners will be able to get alerts of unknown Tiles/Samsung SmartTag trackers following them. And, Android phones will also be able to detect an unknown Apple AirTag is moving along with them.

With Apple set to introduce this new anti-stalking feature with iOS 17.5 update later this month, Google is finally introducing the new Find My Device network app with similar capability on April 7.

Search engine giant has begun sending emails to all eligible Android phone owners that the new feature will be self-activated this weekend.

"With the new Find My Device network, you’ll be able to locate your devices even if they’re offline. You can also find any compatible Fast Pair accessories when they’re disconnected from your device. This includes compatible earbuds and headphones, and trackers that you can attach to your wallet, keys, or bike," reads a Google email to Android phone owners.

Here's how Google's new Find My Device network app works:

As of now, there are close to four billion active Android devices around the world. And, Google will leverage this massive network of devices to locate the lost phone even if it is turned off.

When the device's battery goes low, it automatically sends the last location to the Find My Device network.

And, with proper user privacy protocol in place, it will be able to protect Android device owners' location details.

Most importantly, it will help get back their lost device, not just phone or tablet, but also Google 'Fast Pair' compatible accessories such as earbuds and headphones, and trackers that users attach to their wallet, keys, or bike.

Google Find My Device feature. Credit: Google Play Store
Google Find My Device feature. Credit: Google Play Store

For the uninitiated, Google Fast Pair was first launched with Pixel Buds in 2017. It works on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Technology for faster and more stable connectivity between the companion phone and accessories.

Additionally, the device will notify the owner if it detects any unfamiliar trackers following them.

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps, cybersecurity, and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.

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Published 05 April 2024, 11:08 IST

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