One of the biggest perks of being in the Apple ecosystem for travellers has been Find My Device, and after what feels like a lifetime, the Android Find My Device network is now fully active.

a hand holding a phone with a map on it.  Android Find My Device.  {Tech} for Travel.
Credit Stock

Android Find My Device

Despite a slow, staggered launch beginning in the US and Canada, the new Android Find My Device network will start rolling out on handsets this month before being extended to the rest of the world.

The latest iteration of Android’s Find My Device offers a comprehensive solution for locating lost phones and tablets. It will extend its utility to everyday items like keys, wallets, and luggage. This enhancement will tap into a vast, crowdsourced network of over a billion Android devices, simplifying the discovery of misplaced objects with ease and security.

This vast, already available network of devices made the Apple Find My network work so well, making AirTags a must-have accessory for every iPhone-owning traveller. It even created a whole new business model for accessory makers.

Tracking with Security

Extensive user research and feedback from privacy groups guided the development of multi-layered protections, including data safeguards, safety-first measures, and comprehensive user controls to ensure a secure and private device-locating experience.

Android’s network protections include end-to-end encryption of location data, private crowdsourced location reports, minimisation of network data, and measures to prevent unwanted tracking, such as aggregation by default, at-home protection, rate limiting, throttling, and unknown tracker alerts.

a screenshot of a phone. Android Find My Device.  {Tech} for Travel.
Credit Google

The new Find My Device mitigates the nightmare of losing your phone or tablet when it is offline. It will enable users to either make their devices ring or view their last known location on a map within the app. This will give peace of mind and a better chance of locating a missing item or case.

Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users receive an additional perk: Thanks to specialised hardware, these devices can be found even if powered off or with a depleted battery.

Then, starting in May, the Android Find My Device ecosystem will expand to include everyday items through Bluetooth tracker tags from brands like Rolling Square, Chipolo and Pebblebee. These tags are designed specifically for integration with Find My Device and offer cross-platform compatibility to prevent unwanted tracking.

This third-party lineup will grow later in 2024 with additions from Eufy, Jio, Motorola, and others, making it more straightforward to monitor personal belongings.

For those times when what you’re searching for is close yet elusive, the Find nearby feature becomes invaluable. It’s especially useful for quickly pinpointing items within close proximity, such as in the same room or area. The feature will be further streamlined with the upcoming launch of Bluetooth tags for objects like wallets or keys.

The Find My Device app now allows users also to share the location of a device or item with friends and family.

Compatible Devices

Here is a complete list of devices that support Android Find My Device. They must be running Android OS9 or above. And, if all that wasn’t enough, Google has confirmed that “software updates are coming to headphones from JBL, Sony, and others, which will join the Find My Device network.”

The revamped Find My Device prioritises functionality and ensures privacy and security. With end-to-end encryption of location data and aggregated device location reporting, it introduces a pioneering safety feature against unwanted tracking.

Compatible with Android 9 and above devices, this feature set marks a significant leap in personal item management and security, proving invaluable for Android users worldwide.

VIATom Payne
SOURCEGoogle The Keyword
Tom Payne
Tom, Editor. An online publication providing news & reviews on apps, gadgets and luggage for the connected traveller.

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