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Google’s Find My Device 3.0 has a fresh look, hints at upcoming features

Google’s Find My Device 3.0 has a fresh look, hints at upcoming features

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While Google delayed launching the Find My Device Network earlier this summer, the new update holds clues for what’s in store.

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An illustration of Google’s multicolor “G” logo
Illustration: The Verge

Google delayed launching its expanded Find My Device Network earlier this summer, but the latest version of the app sports a new icon and some strings that hint at what’s to come.

9to5Google initially spotted it back in June. The new app icon switches from a green map pin depicting a phone to an abstract radar-like symbol in Google’s signature colors. Now, the new icon is rolling out as part of the version 3.0 update.

It’s likely that Google is opting for a design refresh to reflect plans to expand the Find My Device app into a full-blown network. That would include more than just smartphones but other devices like compatible accessories and Bluetooth trackers.

Meanwhile, Android expert Mishaal Rahman found a few interesting strings within the update that hint at what Google’s got planned for the Find My Device Network. That includes the ability to mark a device as “lost,” which allows users to get notified once it’s been found. There are also references to the ability to temporarily share a device’s location and edit contact info for accessories.

That’s similar to existing features on Tile trackers and AirTags that allow you to view contact information upon scanning a lost item. The code also contains hints at new item categories, customizable ring volume, and the ability to view a device’s battery levels.

Perhaps the most interesting tidbit is a notice that reminds users to use the app in a “responsible, safe, and legal way.” It also notes that users must adhere to a Find My Device Acceptable Use Policy and that using the network to track someone without their consent is punishable by law.

Earlier this summer, Google said it delayed launching the network to allow Apple more time to implement unknown Find My Device tracker alerts for iOS users. That, combined with this notice, indicates that Google views unwanted tracking as a serious issue that needs to be fully addressed on day one.

And for good reason. The Find My Device Network will work similarly to Apple’s Find My network, and unwanted tracking was a major concern shortly after AirTags launched. While Apple did launch AirTags with safety features, abuse still occurred, and Apple had to later update unwanted tracking features to better address the problem.

In any case, it’s a good reminder that these code snippets are simply laying the groundwork for a future update. While they may be a good indicator of what’s to come, things can always change, and we still don’t know what Google’s overall timeline is for launching the Find My Device Network. We reached out to Google for clarification but didn’t immediately receive a response.