Google Upgrades Find My Device Network For Android With A Perk For Pixel 8 Owners

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Google is bringing several upgrades to Android’s Find My Device feature, which will begin to roll out to users in the United States and Canada with the rest of the world to follow. Google says the feature will now be able to tap into other Android devices as part of a crowdsourced network. To access this feature, devices will need to be running at least Android 9.

One of the biggest new abilities of Find My Device is being able to pinpoint devices without an internet connection. However, Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro owners will get the special perk of being able to find these devices even if they no longer have any battery life and/or if they happen to be powered off.

Compatible trackers are also coming to Find My Device. Trackers from companies such as Chipolo, Pebblebee, eufy, and many more will become accessible to users beginning in May. These devices are made specifically to work with the Find My Device network. These trackers will also work with the unknown tracker alerts on both Android and iOS to help protect users from being unwillingly tracked.

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Nearby items will now be easier to find with the new Find My Device. If a user is close to a lost device, a “Find nearby” button will become visible, making it easier to locate the item. This will be an even more helpful feature to users with Nest devices in their homes. Google says the “My Device app now shows a lost device’s proximity to your home Nest devices, giving you an easy reference point.”

Privacy and security are a concern when it comes to trackers, and Google has made several design choices to address these concerns. According to Google it uses “end-to-end encryption of location data as well as aggregated device location reporting, a first-of-its-kind safety feature that provides additional protection against unwanted tracking back to a home or private location.”

It's good to see Google implementing these Find My Device upgrades to devices running Android as far back as Android 9, and not locking those devices out. That Google thought about the privacy implications is also a good sign, though time will tell just how helpful these will be for people who are unwillingly to be tracked.