Apple’s AirTags launched alongside an update to the Find My network that practically utilized crowdsourcing to locate lost devices and items. It didn’t take long for Samsung SmartThing to realize an identical feature, and Google was spotted getting to do an equivalent for Android generally. So that crowdsourcing feature could be round the corner, but Android’s Find My Network might even transcend that and even help secure lost cars.
The idea around using other devices to locate your lost phone is straightforward, but its implementation might be tricky, as Apple will presumably confirm. It involves ensuring that a lost device is broadcasting a secure ID to any nearby device, which will devour the signal. It also requires that nearby devices are “enrolled” into that very same crowdsourcing system.
9to5Google’s digging into a “dogfood” internal testing version of the Find My Device Android app reveals a number of that feature’s details. For example, notifications will be sent to both the owner of the lost device also because the “sighting user” when a lost phone has been detected, with a choice to ring it if within range. All of those are going to be wiped out in a privacy-respecting manner, the app promises.
Find My Device also will gain a co-ownership feature that will allow families to locate a tool lost by an employee or loved one. Sharing a tool are often done via a QR code or link generated by the app. However, since the app can’t verify that the recipient is your boss or a loved one, you should care when sharing that link.
Android Automotive introduced the thought of Android running on the car directly instead of through a phone. That, however, also creates the likelihood of your Google account and private data getting compromised if your vehicle gets stolen. To find My Device also will gain the power to feature a profile lock to your car as remotely wipe data stored thereon as if it were a smartphone.