How to use the new find my device service

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On Monday, Google officially rolled out its Find My Device network for Android—not to be confused with Apple’s Find My network, of course.
Google’s service helps you find devices you’ve left behind or misplaced by leveraging the greater network of Android devices.
Find My Device allows you to find the approximate location for any connected, compatible device by relying on a network of over one billion Android devices around the world.
When you leave behind a connected device, those devices can passively connect to any nearby Android phone through Bluetooth.
If you’re close enough to the missing device, you’ll see a Find nearby option appear, which walks you directly to your device’s location using an on-screen radius.
Finally, Find My Device works with the established anti-stalker protocols both Android and iOS are a part of.
How to use Find My Device To get started, you’ll need an Android device running at least Android 9, and the Find My Device app from the Play Store.
You can choose to get directions to your device, or, if you’re close enough to the device, you can use the Find nearby feature.

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Not to be confused with Apple’s Find My network, of course, Google formally launched its Find My Device network for Android on Monday. However, given that Google’s new service functions essentially in the same way as Apple’s—and Tile’s, too—the names are appropriate in this instance. By utilizing the larger Android device network, Google’s service assists you in locating lost or forgotten devices.

How can I use Find My Device on an Android device?

By leveraging a global network of more than one billion Android devices, Find My Device enables you to determine the approximate location of any connected, compatible device. Initially, however, Find My Device is limited to use in the US and Canada. ).

Any nearby Android phone can be passively connected to by connected devices when you leave them behind via Bluetooth. When an Android user comes within roughly 30 feet of the device via Bluetooth, the device’s location is updated in the Find My Device network, giving you a rough idea of its location. This functions even when your Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro device is offline. Find My Device allows you to still find your phone even if it runs out of battery life.

However, you can utilize your own devices to locate others in addition to using other people’s devices to locate missing items. A “Find nearby” option will show up if you’re close enough to the missing device to use an on-screen radius to guide you directly to its location. When a Nest device is near a Google smart home device, it can serve as a beacon to help you find lost devices.

Currently, Find My Device is limited to Android smartphones and tablets; however, beginning in May, Google plans to expand the network to include Bluetooth-enabled devices. This includes Pebblebee and Chipolo Bluetooth trackers. According to Google, compatible tags will be released later this year by companies like Jio, Motorola, and Eufy. With Google, you can share things with other users. For example, you can give your house-sitting friend the TV remote or lend someone your car’s keys.

What about Find My Device’s security?

According to Google, all location data—including aggregated device location reporting—is end-to-end encrypted, meaning that only you and not even Google should be able to see the locations of your items. For those whose devices are sharing location data with your items, this also applies to them: since their data is encrypted end-to-end, neither you nor they will be able to determine which device shared the location data. Even more, the company claims that in the event that one of your devices is able to assist in locating your lost item, it will use your device as a tracker instead of utilizing all aggregated location data.

In an effort to reduce the possibility of nefarious real-time tracking, Google claims to limit the frequency of refreshes and only begin storing location data when it detects the presence of multiple devices nearby. Put differently, this feature is fantastic for stationary objects—like keys you left behind at a coffee shop—but it won’t provide real-time updates if your keys are in the back of a taxi. Furthermore, if your device is linked to your address and you are in close proximity to your home, it will not add to the collective location information that is utilized to find other devices.

Lastly, Find My Device is compatible with the well-established anti-stalker protocols that are included in both iOS and Android. Your device will notify you and provide instructions on where to locate and turn off any unusual trackers it finds.

Find My Device: How to Use It.

You will need the Find My Device app from the Play Store and an Android device running at least Android 9 in order to begin. As an alternative, you can access the Find My Device website on a desktop computer.

To assist a friend, select Sign in as a guest and have them enter their login credentials. Alternatively, you can click Continue if you’re looking for your own device. Select the device you wish to locate from this menu. You might be required to enter your Google password or validate the PIN on your device. This action will notify that device once it is confirmed.

The device ought to now be visible on the map to you. You can use the Find nearby feature if you’re close enough to the device, or you can choose to get directions to it.

Additionally, you have a few other options. First, you can play a sound from your device, which will cause it to ring for five minutes at maximum volume (use caution when doing this). If you use the Secure device feature, you can also lock your device with a password or PIN to ensure that no one can access it. If someone finds your device, you can leave a message for them to help get in touch with you.

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