Google finally launched its Find My Device network for Android devices on Monday, April 8. The feature was first announced by the tech giant last year, but it stayed under development. Last week, a report revealed that the feature could finally be released soon, and now Google has rolled out this new technology globally. The feature utilises a crowdsourced network of all Android users to locate smartphones and accessories that go missing. The feature works similar to the Find My app on the iPhone.

Announcing the feature in a blog post, Erik Kay, VP Engineering at Google said, “Today, the all-new Find My Device is rolling out to Android devices around the world, starting in the U.S. and Canada. With a new, crowdsourced network of over a billion Android devices, Find My Device can help you find your misplaced Android devices and everyday items quickly and securely.”

The most useful capability of the network is to locate devices even when they are offline. This means a smartphone or an accessory does not need to be connected to the internet for it to be trackable. Further, Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users will be able to find their devices even if they are powered off or the battery is dead. This can be quite handy in case a device is stolen. The Find My Device network also comes with a Find nearby button that can help find the exact location of the smartphone or the accessory.

Google said that the capabilities of the Find My Device network will also allow Bluetooth tracker tags from Chipolo and Pebblebee on the network and track their location. These tags can be attached to everyday items such as keys, wallets, or bags to secure them. This feature will be rolled out starting in May. Later this year, Bluetooth tags from eufy, Motorola, and Jio will also be added.

Additionally, the network will be integrated with Google Nest and the Android feature will show a lost device’s proximity to the Nest devices to offer a reference point. Users will also be able to share an accessory with family and friends so everyone can keep an eye on its location. Using a Bluetooth tag, users can share the house key or TV remote with family members and all the members can individually locate the item.

There is a focus on privacy and data protection as well. Google said the network has multi-layered protection built into it to keep personal information private. The Find My Device network comes with end-to-end encryption of location data and an aggregated device location reporting feature that stops unwanted tracking of a device. The app works with devices running Android 9 or later.

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