Google could work on a Find My network to compete with Apple


Illustration from article titled Google May Prepare Its Own Version of Apple's Powerful

Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP (Getty Images)

With the release of Apple AirTags, we’ve all seen how powerful and useful the company’s Find My network can be in finding items lost in our homes or items lost in the world. Google has apparently also taken note and seems to be preparing its own version of the network for Android devices.

In the last days, XDA Developers took an APK teardown of the latest beta from Google Play services and noticed references to a possible Google “Find My Device” network. It is not clear if this is a possible name for the network, and has been referred to as the “network title” in the code. The XDA developers also found an alleged description of the Find My Device network.

“Allows your phone to help you locate your devices and those of other people,” the description reads.

As the outlet pointed out, Google is the only other company that could possibly create a device tracking network as large as Apple’s Find My Network. Apple says shut down 1 billion Apple devices are connected to Find My. In the case of AirTags, when one of these billions of devices approaches an AirTag, Find My communicates the location to the owner of said AirTag anonymously and privately.

Now, if Google wants to create a similar network, XDA Developers points out that it can use the Google Play Services app, which is found on almost all Android devices. Google Play services are used to update Google apps and apps in the Google Play store. More, Google declares the app provides services like authentication, synced contacts, access to the latest user privacy settings, and better and less powerful location services.

That’s not to say that Google doesn’t already offer users a way to find their lost devices. He has the Google Find my device app in the Play Store, but this app can only find phones, tablets, or watches that are signed in to your Google account. According to the XDA developers, if Google does create its own Find My Device network, it will likely give Android users the ability to help other users locate their devices, as Apple’s Find My Network currently does.

This concept was spotted in the latest beta of Google Play Services, so it’s by no means a done deal. We will have to wait and see. Still, just stating that Google is working on it is a good thing for those of us who are losing devices. If the worst happens, we’ll have a better chance of finding them.



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