Google rolls out its Find My Device network in Canada and the United States

Google rolls out its Find My Device network in Canada and the United States
Google rolls out its Find My Device network in Canada and the United States

Sylvain PICHOT
– published on 05/07/2024 at 4:30 p.m.

Last month, Google launched its Find My Device network in Canada and the United States, an initiative aimed at helping users locate their lost or misplaced smartphones and tablets. From now on, Google will inform Android device owners in these two countries via email of the new features of this network. The company explains that Android devices will soon automatically participate in the Find My Device network. However, if users decide to unsubscribe via a link provided in the email, the feature will not be activated. It will still be possible, then, to deactivate this functionality later from the settings menu of their devices.

How does Find My Device work? Is the function secure?

According to Google, the network’s operation relies on a mesh of Bluetooth signals emitted by participating Android devices. These devices scan the surrounding area for lost items, and when they detect any, they securely send the location of those items to the Find My Device service. In return, they also help locate other users’ lost items when they are nearby. Device location information is encrypted using the PIN, pattern or password of Android devices. In addition, they are only visible to the user and the people with whom he shares access to Find My Device. Still according to the American firm, this information is not accessible to Google. The brand also states that they are not used for other purposes either.

Google Find my device capture

Next step: integration of third-party Bluetooth trackers

This month, Google plans to expand support for its Find My Device network to include compatible Bluetooth trackers from third-party developers such as Eufy, Chipolo and Pebblebee. This update will allow users to no longer have to rely exclusively on solutions like Tile or Apple AirTags to find important misplaced items.

Additionally, new options in the Find My Device settings will allow users to customize how much their devices participate in locating lost gadgets. They will be able to turn off network assistance, restrict it to high-traffic areas, or turn it on entirely to make it easier to find their devices, even in low-traffic areas.
Currently only available in the United States and Canada, this functionality is promised to be deployed more internationally in the weeks and months to come, including in France, via a system update.

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