Is Google’s ‘Find My Device’ network for Android coming soon? Signs point to yes.

Is Google's 'Find My Device' network for Android coming soon? Signs point to yes.

Google Pixel Fold

Google is gearing up to launch its “Find My Device” network, a feature similar to Apple’s Find My network, that allows users to locate their missing devices using other people’s devices. While the launch was delayed to implement more security features, recent discoveries suggest that Google is making progress towards a release. An Android Find My Device settings page has been found deep within the app’s files, offering new location-based sharing options.

The settings page, discovered by 9to5Google, reveals several options for finding a lost device that is not connected to the internet. The first option is the current method, where a device can only be located if it is connected to the internet. The second option, “Without network,” allows users to see the last known locations where the device was online, providing some insight even without a network connection.

The third option, “With network in high-traffic areas only,” is a standout choice as it utilizes an actual network. This feature enables a user’s device to leverage other Android devices connected to the internet to find their own, but only in high-traffic locations like airports or busy walking paths. This means that the device won’t be located if only one other person passes by. Instead, multiple other devices will be needed, although the exact definition of “high-traffic” remains unclear.

The final option, “With network in all areas,” also utilizes other people’s devices to find a lost device anywhere, including low-traffic areas. While this feature is convenient, it raises privacy concerns. However, Google has addressed these concerns by encrypting the locations of devices using the PIN, pattern, or password for Android devices, ensuring that the information is not visible to Google or other users trying to find their devices.

To enable Find My Device on an Android phone, users need to navigate to Settings, Security & Privacy, and then Find My Device. Although an official launch date for the Android Find My Device network has not been announced yet, the appearance of new settings suggests that the feature may become available sooner rather than later.

With Google’s Find My Device network, users can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their devices can be found even when they are not connected to the internet. By leveraging the power of other Android devices, this network offers a broader range of locations to search for missing devices. While privacy concerns are an understandable consideration, Google ensures that user information remains secure and hidden from others. As we eagerly anticipate the official launch of the Android Find My Device network, it’s clear that this feature will be a valuable addition to the Android ecosystem.