Google is working on a service that Apple users know as the Find My Network. Find-My-enabled Apple devices, such as most MacBooks, iPhones, or iPads, act as sniffer dogs and report the GPS coordinates of the respective devices to the Apple server in strict compliance with data protection guidelines. In this way, lost or stolen devices can be found – even when the devices are switched off.
According to XDA-Developers, there are now references to a comparable function in the Google Play Service app. It should be possible to locate your own and third-party devices as well as people via the network. As with Apple, devices can be marked as lost or found. If you want other people to be able to track devices, you can give them permission to do so. In addition to the time when a device last checked its location, you also get an indication of whether a device is nearby.
If there is no Internet or Bluetooth connection, the Find My network in Android will also help with Android in the future. If an Android device activated for Play Services detects another device from the network, it forwards the location accordingly. If you come near a device that is marked as lost and you are part of the network, you will receive an indication that someone is missing this device. The finder does not receive any personal data from the searcher, but can – as with Apple – contact the person.
Confirmation from Google is still pending
Google itself is currently keeping a low profile on the new function. However, the new pixel devices should also be equipped with an ultra-broadband chip (UWB). As with Apple, there is a lot to suggest that Google is also planning to use its smartphones to track down devices and objects using UWB. If you are interested in UWB: We have put together all the information about ultra-broadband and UWB for you.
Apple recently presented its AirTags here. With their help, keys, bags or other objects can be found very easily. Such item trackers are also already available for Android devices, but Google could first integrate them into the operating system. It is possible that Google will provide official information on the release of Android 12.
A “Find-My” network for Google devices? As an Android user, do you find this practical or do you see a problem with data protection in it? Let me know in the comments!