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Even the Pixel 8 could get Android 15's powered-off finding features

The Pixel 8 series comes with the hardware needed to make the feature work.
By

Published onMarch 15, 2024

google pixel 8 pro vs pixel 8 cameras hero
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Android 15 has a new feature that allows for locating devices even when they are switched off, but this ability requires specialized hardware in addition to software changes.
  • The Pixel 9 series was expected to debut with this feature once Android’s upgraded Find My Device network is rolled out.
  • The Pixel 8 series and the upcoming Pixel 8a could also support the feature, while Pixel Fold, Pixel 7 series, and older devices may not support the feature.

One of the highlight features of Android 15 is expected to be the new Powered Off Finding API, which would allow compatible phones to be located even when they are switched off. This new feature has some hardware requirements, which are expected to be fulfilled by devices like the upcoming Google Pixel 9. As it turns out, you may already have a phone in your pocket with the hardware needed for this feature, as Google has seemingly included them in the Pixel 8 series, too.

According to a report from Android Police, Android 15’s Powered Off Finding API opens up the ability to locate devices even when they are switched off. This is done by allowing the device to store pre-computed Bluetooth beacons in the memory of the Bluetooth controller. Thanks to additional specialized hardware, the device can power the Bluetooth controller even when the rest of the phone is powered off (presuming you have some reserve battery left). Some software engineering efforts to support the Bluetooth Finder HAL are also needed to make this possible, alongside the obvious update to Android 15 and the rollout of Android’s upgraded Find My Device network.

The Pixel 9 is widely expected to be the phone that fulfills these criteria, but the Google Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro do, too (once they get updated to Android 15). By extension, it is expected that the upcoming Pixel 8a will also support the feature, as per the report.

However, the Pixel Fold, the Pixel 7 series, and the Pixel 6 series are unlikely to support the feature. The report does not mention whether these devices are missing the necessary hardware for this feature or if it is simply a case of missing software bits. If only the software bits are missing, especially on newer and higher-end devices like the Pixel Fold, then there is a chance that the feature could be rolled out in the future.

Are you excited about Android 15 and the upcoming ability to locate a switched-off phone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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