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Google seems to be working on an alternative to Apple’s Find My Network

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One of the most standout features of an Apple AirTag is how it uses the billion or so iPhones out there – via the Find My network – to ping its location even when it’s out of Bluetooth range. Wouldn’t it be great if Google somehow made the more than 3 billion Android devices around the world to find your lost phone? Well that could just happen.

The people over there XDA developer found evidence of this in an APK teardown of Google Play Services version 21.24.13. The code includes new strings of characters that mention a “Find My Device Network” and how your phone might allow your phone to find other people’s lost or stolen devices.

<string name="mdm_find_device_network_description">Allows your phone to help locate your and other people’s devices.</string>
<string name="mdm_find_device_network_title">Find My Device network</string>

We don’t know how or when Google will do this, but if it does, it could end up creating the largest crowdsourced network of devices ever, slightly beating the numbers Apple bragged about when it announced the AirTag.

Although there are over 3 billion Android devices, the chances are that not all devices are part of the network. Some eligibility criteria could prevent some older Android devices (that are still active) from being able to participate, and Google could even allow users to log out of the network. Even so, we should look at a healthy network of devices that could really get through for us if we ever misplace our phones.

Currently, the Google Find My Device app can only be used to track and remotely wipe devices that are signed in to a Google account. But if Google decides to take advantage of the enormous reach of Android, the application could offer a much greater benefit.

Google find my device
Google find my device

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