Google has started rolling out its brand-new Find My Device for Android devices. This innovative system, utilizing a network of over a billion Android devices, aids in swiftly and securely locating misplaced Android devices and everyday items.

Google Find My Device

Five ways to Use Google’s ‘Find My Device’ network:

Locate Offline Devices: Even when your compatible Android phone or tablet is offline, you can locate it by ringing it or checking its location on a map within the app. Pixel 8 and 8 Pro owners can also find their devices if they’re turned off or have a dead battery.

Track Everyday Items with Bluetooth Tags: Starting from May, you’ll be able to find items like keys, wallets, or luggage with Bluetooth tracker tags from Chipolo and Pebblebee in the Find My Device app.

Google Find My Device network launched 2

These tags, tailored for the Find My Device network, will also be compatible with unknown tracker alerts across Android and iOS, ensuring protection against unwanted tracking.

Find Nearby Items: If you’re near your lost device, a “Find nearby” button will assist you in pinpointing its location. This feature will also extend to finding everyday items when Bluetooth tags launch in May.

Find nearby items

Pinpoint Devices at Home with Nest: The Find My Device app now indicates the proximity of a lost device to your home Nest devices, providing a convenient reference point.

Pinpoint devices at home with Nest

Share Accessories with Friends and Family: Easily share accessories like house keys, TV remotes, or luggage with others through the app for collaborative tracking if something goes missing.

Google Find My Device network launched 1

Security and Privacy Features

Find My Device is built with multi-layered protections ensuring user safety and privacy. These include end-to-end encryption of location data and aggregated device location reporting, preventing unwanted tracking.

End-to-End Encryption: Location data is end-to-end encrypted, ensuring only the owner and selected individuals can decrypt and view it. Google cannot access this data.

Crowdsourced Location Reports: Reports to the Find My Device network don’t disclose the owners of nearby Android devices, ensuring privacy. Only the location and timestamp of the lost item are shared with the Bluetooth tag owner.

Minimized Network Data: Encrypted location data is frequently overwritten, minimizing data retention. The network also discards reports if the lost item is detected by the owner’s nearby devices.

Google Find My Device network launched

Safety-first Protections Include:

  • Aggregation by Default: Multiple nearby Android devices must detect a tag before reporting its location, making unwanted tracking difficult, especially near private locations.
  • At-Home Protection: Android devices near a user’s home don’t contribute crowdsourced location reports, offering additional privacy.
  • Rate Limiting and Throttling: Limits on location reporting and update requests reduce the risk of real-time tracking while remaining helpful for finding lost items.
  • Unknown Tracker Alerts: Users receive alerts if the system detects potential unwanted tracking, enhancing security.

Availability

The new Find My Device is gradually rolling out globally, starting with the U.S. and Canada. It works with devices running Android 9 or later.

Additionally, Google has confirmed that headphones from JBL, Sony, and other brands will soon join the Find My Device network with upcoming software updates.

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