Apple recently introduced a “Find My” network that will not only help you find a missing phone or anything attached to an Apple AirTag (or supported accessory) if it’s nearby… but also if it’s out in the world. It does that by effectively turning other people’s Apple devices into a network that can help locate missing gadgets, sending private, encrypted data to help you locate your missing things.
Bluetooth tracker maker Tile has been doing something similar with its Tile Network for years, but that network is limited to folks who have Tile trackers (which is likely somewhat smaller than the number of folks with Apple devices). But you know who has a bigger potential network of users than Apple? Google. And now it looks like the company may be planning to launch its own “Find My Device Network” that leverages Android phones to help you find your missing stuff.
Google hasn’t made an official announcement yet, but the folks at xda-developers spotted signs of a new work-in-progress feature in the code for the latest version of the Google Play Services app.
One line says the title of the service is “Find My Device network,” while another says it “allows your phone to help locate your and other people’s devices.”
While Google already has Find My Device apps for Android and the web, they currently only let you find Android devices logged into your Google account with the appropriate permissions enabled. It’s possible that by expanding a network, Google could lay the groundwork for finding more types of devices in more locations.