Google activates global Find My Device network for Android

As expected last week, Google officially announced the launch of the global Google Find My Device network.
Google Find My Device

As expected, Google has unlocked its long-awaited, revamped Find My Device network for Android. The network also works with offline devices and runs worldwide on devices with Android 9 and higher, but initially only in the USA and Canada. The network will include over a billion devices, making it very easy to find your missing device even if it is offline. As a bonus, thanks to “specialized Pixel hardware,” you can track the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro even when they are offline or the batteries are empty.

New Bluetooth tracker tags from Chipolo and Pebblebee will also be available starting in May. These will also appear in the Find My Device app as they were developed specifically for the new network. They will also be compatible with unknown tracker alerts on Android and iOS to protect against unwanted tracking. More Bluetooth tags will arrive later this year from Anker’s eufy, Jio and Motorola.

If you’re near a lost device but still can’t see it, a “Find Nearby” button will appear. This enables a more precise search. This will work from May with the new Bluetooth tags mentioned above. If you’re at home and using Nest devices, the Find My Device app can locate a lost device’s proximity to those Nest devices. Finally, you can also “share” devices with others so that they are easier to find.

Google says it has implemented “multi-layered protections” into its new Find My Device network. These protect both the personal security and the data of the users. For example, location data is encrypted end-to-end. Aggregated device location reports are “a unique security feature”. They provide additional protection against unwanted tracking to a home or private location.

Google also plans software updates for headphones from JBL, Sony and others to add them to the new Find My Device network as well. However, the launch was delayed for months until Apple implemented measures to protect against unwanted tracking in iOS. These should be available in iOS 17.5, which will start soon.

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