Unsure about Google’s Find My Device? Discover 7 key facts to clear your confusion

7 things, Confused, Google's Find My Device, need to know

Google has recently released a major upgrade to its Find My Device network, and here are the seven key points you need to know about this update.

1. The new Find My Device network is a significant improvement over the previous version. The old network was limited in its capabilities, only able to detect Android smartphones and Wear OS smartwatches. The new update now allows Find My Device to detect other devices, particularly Bluetooth location trackers. This means that gadgets no longer need to be connected to the internet or have location services turned on in order to be detected by Find My Device. However, it is important to note that the software will only provide an approximate location on your on-screen map, and you will still need to physically locate the devices yourself. Similar to Apple’s Find My network, the location data is end-to-end encrypted, ensuring privacy and security.

2. The release of the Find My Device update was delayed due to Apple. Google wanted Apple to introduce similar protections for iOS devices to prevent unwanted location trackers. The update was originally expected to launch in July 2023 but was delayed because Apple had not added unknown tracker alerts to its own iPhone devices. However, the recent iOS 17.5 beta contains lines of code suggesting that Apple will soon introduce these anti-stalking measures, indicating that the release of Apple’s own software may be imminent.

3. The Find My Device update will roll out globally to all Android devices. The update will first be available in the US and Canada, with other countries receiving the update in the coming months. Android devices will need to meet a few requirements to support the network, including running Android 9 with Bluetooth capabilities. Exclusive features, such as the ability to find a phone even when it is powered down, will be available for Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro devices. Google is also working with other manufacturers to bring this feature to other premium Android devices.

4. The Find My Device update includes unwanted tracker alerts. These alerts are particularly important in addressing the misuse of Apple AirTags, which have been used by some individuals for stalking purposes. Previously, Android devices could only detect AirTags, but now the update allows Android phones to locate Bluetooth trackers from other third-party brands such as Tile, Chipolo, and Pebblebee. This feature enhances privacy and safety by providing users with the ability to detect unwanted trackers. It is worth noting that users will not be able to find out who placed a tracker on them, as this information is only viewable by the owner.

5. Chipolo and Pebblebee are launching new trackers that are compatible with the Find My Device network. Chipolo is introducing the Chipolo ONE Point item tracker and the Chipolo CARD Point wallet finder. These devices can be easily located using the Find My Device app and will emit a loud noise to aid in their recovery. They also have a long battery life, with the CARD finder lasting up to two years on a single charge. Pebblebee is also releasing Tag, Card, and Clip trackers that are small and lightweight, with a loud buzzer for easy locating.

6. The Find My Device app can be connected to Google Nest devices for smart home users. This integration allows users to find lost items by displaying a sequence of images of the Nest hardware in their home. While the app does not provide an exact location, it does show where the item was last seen, the time it was last seen, and if there was another smart home device nearby. The app also provides tools such as playing a sound from the tracker’s speakers, sharing the device, and marking it as lost.

7. The Find My Device network can now detect select earbuds and headphones. This addition is aimed at combating individuals who have used these devices for stalking purposes. Currently, the network can detect three specific models: JBL Tour Pro 2, JBL Tour One M2, and Sony WH-1000XM5. Support for other models, including Apple AirPods, may be added in the future.

In conclusion, Google’s Find My Device update brings significant improvements to the network, allowing it to detect a wider range of devices and ensuring privacy and security. With the added support for unwanted tracker alerts, compatibility with new trackers, integration with Google Nest devices, and the ability to detect select earbuds and headphones, the update provides users with enhanced capabilities to find their lost belongings and maintain their safety.

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