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Google launches Find My Device for Android users

If you’re an Android user, it’s now easier than ever to find your lost phone or tablet, as Google has officially launched its Find My Device feature.

The targeting tool is available in the United States and Canada starting Monday (April 8), with plans to roll out globally. While it’s initially focused on two devices, headphones will be included soon, and support for third-party Bluetooth tags will be possible in May.

This is an upgrade from previous versions of the app, which could only roughly locate devices over an internet connection or based on where the device was last connected via Bluetooth.

In the latest version, Pixel 8 and 8 Pro can be found even if “they are powered off or have a dead battery.” Google thanks “dedicated Pixel hardware” for making this possible.

Google further talked about the technology behind Find My Device in the press release: “This includes end-to-end encryption of location data as well as aggregated device location reporting, a first-of-its-kind security feature that provides additional protection.” Necessary tracking back to home or private location.”

The overhaul was long overdue, as the plan was first announced at Google I/O 2023 and was initially targeted for the summer.

Network built “with user security and privacy in mind”

“Keeping people safe and their data secure and private is Android’s top priority,” Dave Kleidermacher, vice president of security and privacy engineering at Android, said in a company press release.

“To build a private, crowdsourced device location network, we first conducted user research and gathered feedback from privacy and advocacy groups.

“Next, we developed multiple layers of protection in three main areas: data protection, security-first protection and user controls…”

Local crowdsourcing was conducted by nearby Android users participating in the Find My Device network to report the location of some dropped keys with Bluetooth tags.

When owners realize their keys are lost and log into the Find My Device mobile app, they can view aggregated locations from other nearby Android devices.

Featured image: via Google press release

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