Report: Google is working on Find My Device feature for turned-off phones

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 7, 2023
Google Android

Find My Device is a feature on Android devices to locate a missing device. The feature has quite a few requirements to work at all, including that location and Find My Device are turned on, that the device itself is powered on and connected to the Internet, and that the device is signed to a Google account.

A Report suggests that Google is working on an updated version of Find My Device, which works even when the phone is turned off. The feature has certain hardware requirements, and this makes it a feature for future devices more so than for existing devices.

Apple has created a powerful Find My Device feature that enables Apple customers to track company devices, including iPhones, iPads and Macs, even when the device is turned off or when they are not connected to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Interestingly enough, Samsung has also created a solution, called Smart Things Find, which helps customers locate devices even if they are offline.  While that is not the same as finding a device that is turned off, it is more advanced than stock Android's current Find My device functionality.

Google, the leak suggests, is working on "building a huge network of Android devices" to assist with the feature, making use of features such as UWB, Ultra-Wideband, a radio technology.

Android 14, this year's release of the Android operating system, will include a new feature,, which adds the functionality to the operating system. This allows communication with the Bluetooth chip, even if the Android device itself is turned off at the time. The functionality is similar to that of Apple's iPhone.

The feature will work on Android devices that come with a Bluetooth chip that remains functionality even if the device itself is powered down. As for device support, most Android devices do not support the Bluetooth technology right now. Considering that Google is working on the feature, future Pixel devices will likely support it.

Now You: what is your take on this feature?

Report: Google is working on Find My Device feature for turned-off phones
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Report: Google is working on Find My Device feature for turned-off phones
Google is working on integrating Find My Device functionality into Android that works even if an Android device is powered down.
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  1. Anonymous said on April 23, 2023 at 10:48 pm

    “Find my device” often actually means finding the device carrier.

    Second point, does the implementation take precautions such as preventing Google as much as possible from having yet another way to get the location of all android users ?

    Third point, another expectation broken about a turned off device actually being turned off instead of going on broadcasting sensitive data about its carrier to hostiles. But not the first time this specific one is broken however, with android phones. I remember a similar problem which was already about user location years ago. Well, it was considered as a problem then.

  2. Robert said on April 8, 2023 at 6:00 am

    I’ve been thinking about buying a PinePhone for the last year. I may have to trade my Pixel 7 Pro for a PinePhone. Or maybe upgrade to a dumb phone as I heard that they are alive and strong in the USA.

  3. Captain Hook said on April 8, 2023 at 1:53 am

    > Can this crap be disabled?

    Yes, Google “Faraday bag”

  4. Anonymous said on April 7, 2023 at 8:14 pm

    Can someone write an app called where’s Sundar Pichai? Every device with Bluetooth could ping his phone and update a server with his location. We could all watch in realtime where he is at any given moment. Wonder how long that would last in Google Play?

  5. Tachy said on April 7, 2023 at 5:24 pm

    How much more proof do people need that apple and google are always tracking you, always invading your privacy, even if you turn your phone off?

  6. ECJ said on April 7, 2023 at 1:30 pm

    Can this crap be disabled?

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