Google is expanding and modernizing its Find My Device platform, bringing it closer in line with location-tracking solutions from Apple and Tile. During today’s I/O 2023 keynote, Google’s Sameer Samat announced that headphones / earbuds, tablets, and other product categories will be added to Find My Device in the coming months. (Some of these are already supported, but you can count on seeing many additional devices.) More importantly, it will now become a vast network that uses devices owned by other people to ping your missing gadget and pinpoint its location.
“It’s powered by a network of billions of Android devices around the world,” Samat said. Tile, Chipolo, and other third parties will participate in the updated program. “From the start, we designed the network in a privacy-preserving way,” the Google VP added, noting that device location data is encrypted and not viewable by the company.
Samat also addressed the potential for malicious use of these location-tracking products. Unknown tracker alerts will reveal when a tracking device is traveling with you — including Apple AirTags — and he mentioned how the two companies are working together to prevent stalking with these gadgets intended for convenience.