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June 18, 2021

👋 Morning! Juneteenth is now a holiday! Tomorrow! That said, it’s a Saturday this year and a Sunday next year, so bring on Monday, June 19, 2023!

Find My sanity
how to find a lost phone find my device app google pixel 4 xl

Here’s something likely useful, definitely predictable, and a little bit sad too — more on the last point below.

Android phones might be getting their own “Find My” network, just like iPhones:

  • XDA Developers decoded some data in the latest Google Play Services version that rolled out in the beta channel. The strings pulled out of the code describe a “Find My Device Network” service that “allows your phone to help locate your and other people’s devices.”
  • That’s great because there are three billion Android devices, and the “Find My Device” feature is limited for now: it can find devices that are signed into the user’s Google account.
  • At least once or twice a week I ask my Google Home Mini (aka Nest Home) “Find my phone” and my Pixel 4a 5G loudly and happily trills away until I track it down.
  • Now it seems the “Find My Device Network,” could help other Android users find their phones, in a big, new network.
  • We don’t know if this is an Android 12 inclusion or still a separate app, but we’ve asked Google for more information.

We really, really could use some kind of shared technology here:

  • The sad thing is that this becomes an Apple vs Android fight. I can’t find your iPhone or your luggage with an AirTag using my Android, and you can’t find my Pixel with your iPhone.
  • Surely it’d be better if iPhones could find Android devices, Androids could find iPhones (and AirTags), and we could all just …help each other.
  • It’s worth partially crediting third parties like Tile which did offer cross-platform finding, though only for its Bluetooth trackers.
  • But a system-level approach should go further because losing things (or having them stolen) is no fun at all. 
  • Of course, Apple’s approach is to defer to its aggressive walled ecosystem approach, and maybe offer minor concessions over time.
  • Can we just all get along, so we don’t lose our stuff?

💸 Thieves realize stealing bank account info from phones is better than reselling the device (Android Authority).

👉 Samsung’s first Fan Edition tablet lands in India with Android 11, big battery (Android Authority).

📁 Also, Samsung’s future foldables could feature quirky rotating cameras… that may be genuinely a nice innovation (Android Authority).

🔧 US lawmakers propose 25% tax credit to incentivize domestic chip production (Engadget).

🚫 Following lawsuits, Snapchat pulls its speed filter (TechCrunch).

🎮 You can sign up to test Sony’s PS5 beta software before ‘major’ update coming soon (Gizmodo).

🥽 Welp: Facebook will start putting ads in Oculus Quest apps. Three big questions here: what about hardware sensor data usage, how does this affect VR development, and doesn’t this just add to Big Tech concerns? (The Verge).

📆 Interesting: Microsoft is now holding a second, separate event for Windows developers on June 24 (OnMSFT).

🎶 Porsche has a new system to pipe in “custom, original music,” depending on the “acceleration, speed and centrifugal forces in the car.” Hopefully, when you’re in traffic, it’s very soothing… (Engadget).

🛰️ GPS III has had a long journey, but with a fifth new-generation satellite in place, the constellation is getting much, much better (Wired).

🌌 The center of the Milky Way might not be a Black Hole after all, but a massive amount of dark matter (Popular Mechanics).

📦 “Who is seen as a ‘bad guy’ in history but was actually ok?” (r/askreddit).

Friday Fun

Ok ok stay calm but the Tamagotchi is back! In smartwatch form!

For its 25th anniversary (oh no, I’m old) the Tamagotchi Smart wearable is here as fresh attempt to revive the old Tamagotchi world of 1996-1997. Once again you’ll be able to feed it, or, um, forget to feed, your digital buddy.

  • The device itself has a big color display with touch, voice controls (for waking it or cheering it up), functions like a pedometer and clock, and you can connect to friend’s devices too.
  • But the main thing is the Tamagotchi itself, and there are adorable/somewhat scary little new characters, new outfits, ways for your Tamagotchis to hang out together, and the touchscreen lets you pet and even tickle your Tamagotchi.
  • Anyway, It’ll cost 6,380 yen (~$60), and you can also purchase additional “smart cards” for 1,100 yen (about $10) that you can insert into the device, which sounds like physical DLC. These cards allow you to add characters and items.
  • Crucially, it’s Japan-only for now (launching with a Japanese singing girl band, NiziU) and coming in November— there’s no word on a wider release.

Have a great weekend,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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