Google announces improved Find My Device network for Android devices

Apr 9, 2024

Google has launched its improved Find My Device network in the U.S. and Canada. The technology is quite similar to Apple's Find My service.

Android's Find My Network is a crowdsourced network, i.e. it is powered by billions of Android devices. The service was originally announced last year during the Google I/O 2023 event.

Find My Network can locate offline devices

Google says that the new Find My Network will allow users to locate their lost Android phone or tablet by ringing them, or view their location on a map in the app. This works even when the devices are offline. Well, if you're wondering how it works, it uses Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi and Mobile Data.

Find My Network can locate offline devices

Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro can be located even if they are powered off

Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users can use the Find My Network to track their phone even if the phone's battery is dead, or if the device has been powered off. What sorcery is this? According to a statement given by Google spokesperson Natalie Johnson to The Verge, the phones have some reserve power, which is used for the Bluetooth chip. Apple and Samsung devices also have a similar feature.

Use Bluetooth Trackers to find your accessories

The new Find My Network service for Android will allow users to keep track of accessories such as keys, wallets, luggage, etc., if they have a Bluetooth tracker. You can use the Find My app by tapping on the "Find Nearby" button to locate an item on your map.

Use Bluetooth Trackers to find your accessories

Google says that the feature will begin rolling out from May, and will support tracker tags from Chipolo and Pebblebee. The service will be expanded later this year to add support for Bluetooth tags from eufy, Jio, Motorola, etc. The Find My Network also lets you pinpoint devices that are located in your home with Google Nest.

Share accessories with family and friends

The Find My Network can be used to share your accessories with your friends and family members. So you can use it to share your house key, TV Remote, Luggage, etc., and everyone in the group can use the app to track a lost item easily.

Share accessories with family and friends

The announcement also mentions that Find My Device network will soon add support for headphones made by JBL and Sony. The new Find My Device network is compatible with all devices that are running on Android 9 and above.

(Images via Google)

Google: "Find My Device is Private and Secure"

The Mountain View company says that the Find My Device network has been designed to be secure and private by default, with multi-layered protections to keep your personal information private, and allows you to control the devices that are connected to the network. It uses end-to-end encryption of location data, as well as aggregated device location reporting, to prevent unwanted tracking.

Google has published an article to outline how the location crowdsourcing works on the Find My Device network. It states that users will have an option to use the default setting and contribute to aggregated location reporting, or opt into contributing non-aggregated locations. You can also turn the network off completely.

You may be aware that Bluetooth tags are being misused by some people, i.e. to track and stalk other people, such issues have plagued Apple's AirTag trackers and are expected to be fixed in the upcoming iOS 17.5 update. Google has a way to prevent such abuse. Dave Kleidermacher, Android’s VP of security and privacy, told The Verge that Google will apply rate limiting and throttling to reduce how often the location of a device is updated. This will help lost items to be found, while mitigating the risk of real-time tracking.

How I used Find My Device to track a stolen phone

On a side note, I was able to use Google's Find My Device network (the old implementation) in January to track my mother's phone and handbag, which had been stolen on a train. I rang the phone remotely from home, and my family, along with the help of the local police, used the sound to locate the bag and recover it.

I used Find My Device to track a stolen phone

The thief had stolen some cash and ditched the bag, but I think recovering the phone and the data on it was more important. Hopefully, the new Find My Device network will be even better, that is, if it is made available to the rest of the world.

To use it, make sure that you have installed the Find My Device app on your phone. You can log on to to find your device. Here's a help article on Google's website that has more information about using the service.

Have you used Find My Device to track a lost phone?

Google announces improved Find My Device network for Android devices
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Google announces improved Find My Device network for Android devices
Google is rolling out an updated Find My Device network which can locate lost devices and accessories more accurately.
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  1. VioletMoon said on April 10, 2024 at 9:02 pm

    I guess all phones don’t work like mine: Budget Moto G w/ great battery life–like three days. I have one of those icon thingy’s that says Find My Device; when I tap on it, it finds an older Moto G that I keep around for whatever–like a remote surveillance camera or some other silly purpose.

    When I tap FMD, Google Fi gives me the option to “Wipe the Device?” I suppose if someone were to find my phone and try to use it, I would “wipe” it clean and have Google Fi send me another one all set to go because Google Fi phones, unless one turns off the option, automatically back up the phone every so many hours.

    Wouldn’t be an issue; however, I did find one gal’s phone one time. What to do with that when the phone is locked. She came around looking for it because she remembered “sort of where I was” after an all night party. I had tossed it in the garbage which is taken away by a big truck every day. Yeah . . . daily garbage service and a phone that I can “wipe” clean without worrying about data loss.

    And I only pay something like $25.00 a month for unlimited. What to say?

    I am Fortunate.

  2. pHROZEN gHOST said on April 10, 2024 at 2:32 pm

    On the other hand, they know where you are with your phone at all times :-P

  3. ilev said on April 9, 2024 at 11:32 am

    The improved Find My Device network has been developed jointly with Apple to track both Android tags and Apple’s tags on both Find My networks.

  4. John G. said on April 9, 2024 at 10:52 am

    Now you can find your stolen phone, they said, probably when it is located 15K kilometers away from you. Probably in the middle of a dangerous town, just inside the house of the worst ganster ever. Really nice, but not for you. Just call police and the Swisd army to recover it. Thanks for the article!

    1. Bobo said on April 9, 2024 at 11:30 am

      What we need is a function where one can completely brick the phone remotely, rendering it totally useless. Handy for those very very rare situations that never happen where you strangely enough can find your phone on a map in Eastern Europe or the Middle East. Maybe you visited Barcelona and “forgot” your phone in someone else’s pocket? Nuke it. BOOM goes the pocket. Revenge feels good. And hey, imagine a world where thieves would know something isn’t worth stealing..

      1. Anonymous said on April 12, 2024 at 9:26 am

        That’s a very, VERY dumb idea. If such a function would exist and and could be remotely executed, the only thing preventing any juvenile delinquent from wrecking your phone remotely “for the LOLs” is the protection mechanism. Once someone has found out, how to circumvent the protection mechanism (which is rather a question of “how fast” not “if”), there is nothing protecting your phone from some idiot randomly wrecking all the phones he/she can, because his/her life is so shitty and he wants to make feel others bad as well. Would you really like that ? Very likely not (especially not if you are targeted, and some kid down the street wrecked your 3rd phone in 4 weeks, making you pay several grands), so implementing something like would be a terrible idea. It’s like building dynamite with a remote detonator control into your car … just in case. You really don’t want that. It’s probably as smart as connecting nuclear power plant controls to the internet for remote control.
        Why don’t people think before they talk.

      2. Anonymous said on April 10, 2024 at 5:37 am

        I’m sorry but I don’t condone the ability of rendering a phone usable just to spite a thief. Deleting your own data is fine but rendering the entire piece of tech unusable just to spite them? Seriously?
        Please grow up and develop some empathy, it’s not like people want to steal. And even if you don’t really care about other people, care for nature please. Your approach would generate so much ewaste just for your own self satisfaction.

      3. Bobo said on April 10, 2024 at 7:07 pm


        You probably think car thieves should also be able to keep the cars they steal, as a reward for a job well done? It’s ok as long as the cars owner gets his gloves from the glove compartment? Seriously, what kind of super-liberal mega-left hole did you crawl out from? Whatever it was, I’m sure it wasn’t yours…

      4. Anonydave said on April 10, 2024 at 12:20 pm

        Sounds like you might have a habit of “finding” phones yourself. I paid good money for my phone and I’ll be damned if I’ll let some lowlife scumbag steal it from me and use it.

      5. Bobo said on April 10, 2024 at 10:08 am


        “A phone thief has joined the conversation.”

        Your opinion is very valid.

      6. John G. said on April 9, 2024 at 2:12 pm

        @Bobo, indeed Barcelona is one of the most insecure cities around whole Europe. I only visit it just to catch a flight to Madrid, which is a more secure city with all what you can need to be happy. And yes, of course, we need a function to destroy all the entire phone like a code lock with 384bit AES or something similar. Hundreds of phones are being stolen with complete impunity.

      7. Tom Hawack said on April 9, 2024 at 1:38 pm

        To “forget” one’s phone in “someone else’s pocket”, what a delightful way of putting it.
        Be noted, more or less dramatic than “forgetting” one’s wife in someone’ else’s flat?
        LOL. A Tuesday’s early afternoon wide smile and informal laugh!

      8. Bobo said on April 9, 2024 at 4:37 pm

        @Tom Hawack

        Aaah yes, the “stolen” wife-dilemma.. I guess many would like a remote-nuke option for that too hahaaaa =) Then again, phones don’t willingly tend to hop into other people’s pockets so the comparison isn’t that accurate. Let’s put it this way: If the wife is “lost”, then she’s someone else’s problem.

      9. John G. said on April 9, 2024 at 2:16 pm

        @Tom Hawack, nice comment! xD
        In fact it depends on the wife. Some wives need to be forgotten at all costs.
        I still prefer my phone!

      10. Tom Hawack said on April 9, 2024 at 4:02 pm

        @John G, hum …

        Hard for me to compare given I have a dumb phone rather than a smart one, a non-plain girlfriend rather than a plain wife, lol.
        But, mea culpa, as the song goes, “I started a joke…” which in fact was totally off-topic (@Martin, I implore your pardon!).

        As French humorist Gustave Parking puts it :
        “Mieux vaut ne rien dire et passer pour un con que de l’ouvrir et ne laisser aucun doute à ce sujet.”
        “Better to say nothing and look like a fool than to open your mouth and leave no doubt about it.”

        Back to technology.

  5. Bobo said on April 9, 2024 at 10:51 am

    Won’t take long before this too is considered racist.

    1. John G. said on April 9, 2024 at 2:14 pm

      Nice and laughty comment indeed! :D

  6. Graham said on April 9, 2024 at 6:58 am

    Will it actually work this time?
    Last time I tried it, it was a useless piece of crap and I uninstalled it.
    The Apple one worked fine, but I could never get the Android version to work.

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