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Google takes another bite out of Apple, offering Find My Device for Android phones even if they're offline

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert   

Google takes another bite out of Apple, offering Find My Device for Android phones even if they're offline
  • Google on Monday announced its enhanced Find My Device feature for Android phones is now available.
  • Using a crowdsourced network of Androids, the feature can find your device even if it's offline.

After missing its original summer 2023 release target, Google announced Monday that its enhanced Find My Device feature is now available for Android phones and tablets.

The feature leverages Bluetooth technology across a network of over a billion Android devices to help users find their misplaced devices — even if they're offline. Pixel 8 and 8 Pro devices have the added benefit of being able to be located even if they've been powered off, according to a Google press release.

When participating devices in the network report the location of a Bluetooth tag or device, the location is end-to-end encrypted and can only be viewed by the missing device's owner.

"With end-to-end encrypted location data, Google cannot decrypt, see, or otherwise use the location data," a Google blog post about the security features of the tracking experience reads.

Google's new feature narrows the gap between Android and iOS "Find My" capabilities, bringing the industry closer to alignment in smart device's abilities to be tracked down when they've gone missing.

Expect an additional release and update to the Find My Device app in May that will enable the ability to locate everyday items like keys or luggage as long as they're equipped with a tracker tag from Chipolo and Pebblebee, Google said in its press release. The tags will be compatible with both Android and iOS alerts that notify users of unwanted tracking, with new compatible tags from Eufy, Jio, and Motorola set to be released later this year.

A spokesperson for Google pointed Business Insider to official blog posts regarding the enhanced Find My Device experience and its security features but declined to comment further on the release.

A representative for Apple declined to comment on the new Android feature when reached for comment by Business Insider.


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