Google’s Answer to Apple’s Find My Network Is Now on Android

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Key Takeaways

  • Google's new Find My Device network for Android starts in the US and Canada.
  • The system enables users to locate lost or stolen items through Bluetooth crowdsourcing.
  • Compatible hardware launching in May includes Chipolo and Pebblebee trackers.

Google has begun rolling out its new Find My Device network for Android devices worldwide, starting with users in the US and Canada.

Like Apple’s Find My, the new system uses crowdsourcing through Bluetooth to locate lost or stolen devices, including compatible item trackers and Android phones. It can pinpoint items both on a map and nearby and even works if they’re offline. Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users can even find their phones when powered off or have dead batteries.

You can now tell if a device has been close to any Nest smart home products. It’s also possible to share accessories with others, so they can help you find a missing key or suitcase.

The use of the network will depend on compatible hardware. Google promised that Find My Device-ready Bluetooth trackers from Chipolo and Pebblebee would be available in May.

Chipolo’s One Point and One Card will respectively be available for $28 and $35. Pebblebee’s Clip will cost $30, while the Card and Tag will both be priced at $35. Anker’s Eufy brand, Jio, and Motorola are also making tags.

Earbuds like Google’s Pixel Buds Pro, as well as models from JBL and Sony, will support offline Find My Device tracking at an unspecified point shortly. Google first announced the new Find My Device network in May last year.

The company promised to emphasize privacy and safety. The Chipolo and Pebblebee tags will support previously announced cross-platform unknown tracker alerts to protect against stalkers and thieves. You won’t need Android to spot misused Find My Device trackers, and you won’t need an iPhone to find AirTags.

Google added that location data is end-to-end encrypted, and crowdsourced reporting won’t allow the company to identify Android device owners. Attackers can’t simply intercept a user’s whereabouts. The technology further minimizes the amount of stored data and tosses crowdsourced reports if nearby devices detect a tag. It also won’t crowdsource a device’s location if it’s near your home.

The feature responds to Apple’s Find My network, which relies on a similar concept: crowdsourcing location data across an entire phone platform can help track missing items more effectively than relying on tracker-specific networks. Google said more than a billion Android phones can contribute to Find My Device.

The upgrade won’t be as effective in North America, where Apple’s iPhone has its largest market share. Google’s new system could be very useful in other parts of the world, however, as Android frequently dominates those markets. Regardless of country, this should be helpful for any Android user who wants to track valuables without tying themselves to a specific manufacturer.