Apple’s Find My network is one of the strongest selling points for its devices, giving you the ability to find lost items using a worldwide mesh Bluetooth network. Google is finally building its own version of the feature for Android phones and trackers.
Google announced an upgraded version of Find My Device at Google I/O today, which will support Bluetooth-based trackers instead of just phones and tablets. It will display all your devices on a map, with the ability to find nearby items with a radar-like feature on your phone — remarkably similar to Apple’s Find My Service.
Android phones and tablets will act as nodes for Google’s tracking network, potentially making it the most extensive Bluetooth tracking network on Earth — Google says there are over a billion Android devices in use today. Google is working with Tile, Pebblebee, and Chipolo to integrate its devices into the network, though it’s not clear which existing products will be upgraded. Google is planning an update for its own Pixel Buds, and some headphones from Sony and JBL will also join the network.
You’ll also get alerts if an unknown tracker is detected on you, as a measure to protect against stalking. Google and Apple previously announced that it was working together on this feature, so if you’re on an Android device, you’ll still be notified if an Apple AirTag is following you.
Google said in a blog post, “Most importantly, the Find My Device network was built with user privacy as a key priority. Location data crowdsourced from the network is end-to-end encrypted, which ensures Google can’t see or use it for any other purposes. We will be sharing more about all the privacy safeguards we’ve built into the Find My Device network to prioritize user safety ahead of our feature launch.”
The new network is supposed to arrive later this summer.
Source: YouTube, Google