Unlock the Power of Google’s Find My Device Network for Your Android – Available Now!

    Tracking Location

    Image: Midjourney

    Google has recently launched an enhanced version of its Find My Device network for Android users in the United States and Canada. This upgrade, first unveiled during the Google I/O 2023 conference in May, offers improved features and capabilities for locating lost phones and tablets.

    Now, with Android 9 or later, users can easily track their devices even when they are offline or have dead batteries (only applicable for Pixel 8 and 8 Pro models). The new and upgraded Find My Device utilizes Bluetooth proximity from over one billion active Android devices to help locate lost devices.

    In addition, starting next month, users will also be able to track other items besides phones and tablets, as long as they have a compatible Bluetooth tracker tag attached, such as Chipolo or Pebblebee.

    According to Dave Kleidermacher, VP Engineering of Android Security and Privacy, “Nearby Android devices participating in the Find My Device network report the location of the Bluetooth tag. When the owner realizes they have lost their keys and logs into the Find My Device mobile app, they will be able to see the aggregated location contributed by nearby Android devices and locate their keys.”

    In upcoming updates, Google plans to add support for eufy, Jio, Motorola, and other tags. It will also include compatibility with headphones from JBL, Sony, and other vendors to further enhance the Find My Device network.

    Aside from tracking devices, the upgraded network also allows users to share their trackable devices with friends and family, making it easier to locate them in case they go missing.

    Furthermore, Google’s Find My Device app now displays the lost device’s proximity to the user’s home Nest devices to make it easier to locate the device within the user’s living space.

    Google Find My Device
    Find My Device app (Google)

    Before making the new device tracking network available, Google put in extensive measures to ensure the safety and privacy of its users. These include implementing privacy protection for location data collected through crowdsourcing, safeguarding all users in the network.

    Additional safety mechanisms were also put in place, including preventing individuals from being tracked to their homes, prohibiting crowdsourced location contributions made from users’ residences, and employing rate limiting and throttling functions. There are also alerts for unknown trackers.

    Erik Kay, VP of Engineering, stated, “Multi-layered protections built into the Find My Device network help keep you safe and your personal information private while keeping you in control of the devices connected to the Find My Device network. This includes end-to-end encryption of location data and aggregated device location reporting, a unique safety feature that provides additional protection against unwanted tracking back to a home or private location.”

    Furthermore, Google has added the new Find My Device network to its Android security vulnerability rewards program, taking advantage of the platform’s global community of security researchers. It is also collaborating with select researchers through its private grant program to further encourage targeted research that can improve the network’s security.

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