It looks that Google could be preparing a massive overhaul for the Find My Device functionality found on just about any Android phone or tablet. The upcoming changes were first uncovered by the XDA team
, which data-mined the latest Google Play Services app and found two strings that suggest Google could be taking a page out of Apple
‘s recent updates to the Find My app.
Currently, Android’s Find My Device
can only help you locate devices that you’re signed in on with your Google account; you can’t help locate other people’s devices. Google is perfectly aware of the untapped potential of this enormous network of Android devices, and Apple’s latest to its Find My
app have probably urged Mountain View to update Android’s native Find My Device functionality.
Let’s take a step back: what exactly is Apple’s Find My? Bluntly said, a network of all Apple devices which is used to locate other Apple devices, safely, quickly, and privately. That’s how the AirTags work, and their existence wouldn’t have been possible without said vast network of Apple devices. But you know who else has a continent-spanning network of more than 3 billion devices? That’s right, Android.
The strings in question define that the updated Find My Device feature “Allows your phone to help locate your and other people’s devices”. The so-called “Find My Device network” will rely on other devices’ Google Play Services location services to nail down a specific device and would probably be used to not only locate other phones marked as lost or stolen, but also help you find your Wear-powered smartwatch or fitness band. Who knows, there’s probably a Google smart tracker coming alongside the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro
Of course, as usual with features uncovered thanks to APK teardowns, there’s no way of telling when exactly the feature will become live in an official release. There’s also the possibility that the functionality could be scrapped altogether.