Google has started rolling out the new Find My Device for Android devices.

Using a network of over one billion Android devices, this innovative system helps quickly and securely locate misplaced Android devices and everyday items.

Google highlights five key ways to use it:

Locate offline devices: Even if your compatible Android phone or tablet is offline, you can locate it by playing the sound or checking its location on a map within the app. Pixel 8 and 8 Pro owners can also find their devices if they're turned off or the battery is dead.

Track everyday items with Bluetooth tags: Starting in May, you'll be able to find items like keys, wallets, or luggage with Bluetooth tracking tags from Chipolo and Pebblebee in the Find My Device app.

These tags, adapted to the Find My Device network, will also support alerts from unknown trackers on Android and iOS, ensuring protection against unwanted tracking.

Find nearby items: If you're near your lost device, a “Find Nearby” button will help you pinpoint its location. This feature will also extend to finding everyday items when Bluetooth tags are released in May.

Locate devices at home with Nest: The Find My Device app now indicates the proximity of a lost device to Nest devices in your home, providing a convenient reference point.

Share accessories with friends and family: Easily share accessories like house keys, TV remotes, or luggage with others through the app for collaborative tracking if something goes wrong.

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Security and privacy features

Find My Device is built with multi-layered protections that ensure user security and privacy. These include end-to-end encryption of location data and aggregated device location reporting, preventing unwanted tracking.

End-to-end encryption: Location data is end-to-end encrypted, ensuring that only the owner and selected people can decrypt and view it. Google cannot access this data.

Multi-Purpose Location Reports: Find My Device network reports do not reveal the owners of nearby Android devices, ensuring privacy. Only the location and timestamp of the lost item is shared with the owner of the Bluetooth tag.

Minimized network data: Encrypted location data is often overwritten, minimizing data retention. The network also discards reports if the lost item is detected by the owner's nearby devices.

Safety-first protections include:
  • Aggregation by default: Multiple nearby Android devices must detect a tag before reporting their location, making unwanted tracking difficult, especially near private locations.
  • Home Protection: Android devices near a user's home do not contribute collective location reports, providing additional privacy.
  • Limiting and Rate Limiting: Limits on location reports and update requests reduce the risk of real-time tracking and remain useful for finding lost items.
  • Unknown Tracking Alerts: Users receive alerts if the system detects potential unwanted tracking, improving security.

The new Find My Device is rolling out gradually rolling worldwide, starting with the United States and Canada. Works with devices running Android 9 or later.

Additionally, Google has confirmed that headphones from JBL, Sony and other brands will soon join the Find My Device network with upcoming software updates.

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