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Android's Find My Device feature is now active in Play Services beta

It's been nearly a year since Google announced the modernized version of the Find My Device network.
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Published onApril 3, 2024

Google Find my Device
TL;DR
  • Google’s long-awaited modernized Find My Device network is finally active in the latest beta of Google Play Services.
  • Despite the service appearing in Play Services, the network is not “on” quite yet.
  • This suggests an imminent launch, though, likely at or around Google I/O 2024 in May.

At Google I/O 2023, nearly a year ago, Google announced a modernized network for its Find My Device program. Like Apple’s own Find My network, the updated Find My Device system would use various devices owned by other people —phones, tablets, headphones, and more — to pinpoint another device’s location more accurately. It’s like a “web” of pings, all coming from other people’s devices securely.

When Google announced this, it said we’d see it very soon. However, here we are in April 2024, and we still don’t have it. Thankfully, the wait is nearly over. As spotted by @GappsLeaks on Telegram, the new Find My Device network page is active in the latest beta of Google Play Services. That page has the settings you’d expect for such a system: you can turn Find My Device on/off and opt-in to whatever level of communication with the network with which you are comfortable:

Unfortunately, even though this page is fully active — you don’t need to hack the app or turn on any flags to see it — the network itself is not actually “on.” So, for now, you’ll still be using the traditional Find My Network system, which only relies on the particular device you’re searching for without any help from a wider network of devices. This will be the case even if you have the beta version of Play Services.

Still, this is now the closest we’ve been to actually seeing the network work, so it’s significant news.

Why are we still waiting for the Find My Device network?

If we could sum up the delay in one word, it would be “Apple.” In order for the Find My Device network to be as capable and secure as Google knows it needs to be, it needed Apple’s support. However, Apple hasn’t been as quick as Google may have hoped it would be, which is why the network is still inactive.

Today’s news, though, at least suggests the possibility that the wait is nearly over. Judging by the timing of today’s news and the proximity to Google I/O 2024 (which starts on May 14), we can only assume that Google will finally switch the network on then.

Remember that this will also allow for AirTag-like trackers that support Android. One such tracker from Google — codenamed “grogu” — leaked last year. It’s possible we could see the commercial debut of this and other third-party trackers at I/O, including those from partner company Chipolo.

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