Google’s Find My Device network already appears for some Android users

Google’s Find My Device network already appears for some Android users
Last year, Google announced the Android Find My Device network to help users find lost or stolen devices. However, concerns about stalking with tracking devices like AirTags led Google and Apple to team up on a solution, which caused a delay in rolling out the Find My Device network.

The delay was because Google needed Apple to implement protections in iOS for trackers used with Android. Now, with Apple getting ready to release these new anti-stalking features with the iOS 17.5 update, Google doesn't have to wait anymore, and it is moving quickly to start the rollout of its Find My Device network.

The rollout caught the attention of Android expert AssembleDebug. In the latest beta version of Google Play Services, v24.12.14, a new feature called Find your offline devices popped up in the Settings menu.

This new feature takes users to another page where they can choose to locate devices without a network, with a network in high-traffic areas, or with a network constantly available. Users also have the option to completely disable the feature. By default, the feature is enabled and set to "all areas."

But the new feature isn't quite ready for action yet. We will need to hang tight a little longer for it to become fully functional. It is likely to happen after the official release of iOS 17.5 for iPhones, which should be soon.

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Once it is operational, the new Find My Device network will assist users in locating their misplaced items like headphones, luggage, keys, or whatever by using a variety of third-party Bluetooth tracker tags.

The big plus of the Find My Device network is that it will let users track down a device even when it is offline. Right now, the Find My Device feature needs the lost or stolen Android device to be online before you can locate it.

The Find My Device network will tap into Google Play Services on all Android phones to locate lost devices. This means the need for a mandatory connection will be done away with. Devices like phones, smartwatches, trackers, and headphones will be supported.

You will have the choice to opt out of the network but still track lost devices by using their recently stored locations. Alternatively, your device's location info will only be accessed if other devices in the network also spot the lost device.

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