In June 2021, a report indicated that Google was looking to increase the capabilities of its Find My Device feature to bring it on par with Apple’s Find My network. The latter can find lost or stolen iPhones, iPads, Macs and AirTag trackers, even if they are out of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth range. Besides, the Locate network will find these devices even if they are turned off!
Google’s Find My Device network only tracks smartphones that have been logged into your Google Account. The platform also cannot help others find their lost or stolen devices. However, Google continues its efforts to expand the capabilities of its Find My Device feature. Google’s release notes for the December 2022 Play Store Update include the following statement:Find My Device now supports encrypted last known location reports for Android devices, using a new privacy-centric framework“.
This could indicate that Google is working to allow Find My Device to track Android devices that have been lost or stolen, even without an internet connection. With an updated Find My Device network, location services of other Android devices could help find missing devices of other Android users. As the information will be encrypted, only the owner of the “discovered” device knows where it is. This network could also be used to help find missing or stolen Wear OS devices.
With over 3 billion Android devices floating around the world, a Find My Device network could cover a lot of ground.
There has been no official announcement regarding the Find My Device upgrade and we have no idea when the feature will be incorporated. This would be an important event for Android users, which is expected to be announced by the company.