Google’s Find My Device network is coming — and privacy is at its core
The rumors were true, Google is developing its own version of Apple’s “Find My” network to help you locate lost devices. The company officially announced the “Find My Device” network at Google I/O 2023, and confirmed some of the long-overdue features that will be coming along for the ride.
Coming later this summer, the Find My Device network is, as the name suggests, a way to hunt down lost devices. That includes phones, tablets, earbuds and third party Bluetooth trackers — with Tile and Chipolo support confirmed on stage.
Google’s Find My Device network utilizes the many Android phones around the world to help find stuff. It sounds similar to how iPhones are used in Apple’s Find My network. That means lost devices will ping nearby Android devices, letting you track down their location with more accuracy than third-party tracking networks can offer.
Google also says that the Find My Device network has been built with privacy in mind, which may explain why it’s taken so long to get here. That means Google has no idea where your devices are at any given time, while also ensuring you can detect any rogue devices in your vicinity.
As I’ve complained about multiple times over the past several months, Android users have had few protections from tracker-based stalking. The new Find My Device network finally does something about that problem helping you identify and locate unknown trackers that may be following you around.
Google also reiterated that it was working with Apple to employ a new industry standard for trackers. All to protect users from people who may exploit trackers for nefarious purposes.
There’s no word on how the Find My Device network will roll out, especially on non-Google phones. Android doesn’t have the best record with big updates like this after all. All Google said was that it would arrive this summer. Here’s hoping it can roll out quickly, given how important this feature is.
Don’t forget to check out our Google I/O 2023 live blog for our ongoing coverage of the event, and all the new devices that are being announced.