Home Google launches Find My Device for Android users

Google launches Find My Device for Android users

It will now be easier than ever to find your misplaced phone or tablet if you’re an Android user as Google has officially launched the Find My Device feature.

From Monday (April 8) the location-finding tool has been rolled out across the U.S. and Canada, with plans for it to be launched worldwide. While it initially focuses on two devices, headphones will be included within time, and support third-party Bluetooth tags will be made possible in May.

This is an upgrade from the previous version of the app which could only roughly locate devices through an internet connection or based on where they were last connected with Bluetooth.

In the latest version, the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro can be found even if “they’re powered off or the battery is dead.” Google gives thanks to “specialized Pixel hardware” that makes this a reality.

Google spoke further about the technology behind Find My Device in the press release: “This includes end-to-end encryption of location data as well as aggregated device location reporting, a first-of-its-kind safety feature that provides additional protection against unwanted tracking back to a home or private location.”

This overhaul has been well overdue as plans were first announced at Google I/O 2023 with an original summer target.

Network was built ‘with user security and privacy in mind’

The VP of Engineering at Android Security and Privacy Dave Kleidermacher says in a company release that “keeping people safe and their data secure and private is a top priority for Android.

“To build a private, crowdsourced device-locating network, we first conducted user research and gathered feedback from privacy and advocacy groups.

“Next, we developed multi-layer protections across three main areas: data safeguards, safety-first protections, and user controls…”

The local crowdsourcing works by nearby Android users participating in the Find My Device network to report the location of some dropped keys that have a Bluetooth tag attached.

When the owner realizes their keys have been misplaced and logs into the Find My Device mobile app, they can then see the aggregated location which is possible through other nearby Android devices.

Featured Image: Via Google Press Release

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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