Google is testing its own Find My Device app to compete with Apple’s Find My

Earlier this year, Apple unveiled the AirTag tracker. The device helps users find missing items, including an iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, or a pair of AirPods. AirTags leverage Apple’s huge Find My ecosystem, leveraging anonymous and participatory location data to track objects. Pinging to a nearby iPhone could allow an AirTag on a stolen scooter to send the owner its last known location. In fact, it actually happened, helping someone recover their stolen goods. Apple has over a billion devices that can help users find lost devices, which is why AirTags are so useful. But Google uses a lot more Android devices than Apple uses iPhones. It’s a miracle that Google hasn’t already copied Apple’s Find My tracking technology, but that’s exactly what the company is doing now.

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Google might not be launching its own AirTag tracker anytime soon, but reports said a few months ago that Google may be copying Apple’s Find My technology. Google was supposed to develop a Find My Device app, similar to Apple’s Find My app that can locate people and devices. The code in Google Play services at the time said Find My Device would allow phones to help find missing gadgets.

How Google Find My Device works

In August, 9to5Google found more evidence to suggest that Google would soon unveil the Find My Device app. Google is already testing the application internally before making it accessible to the general public. This is a process called “dogfooding” which allows Googlers to test new applications.

The website found version 2.4.043_df of Google’s Find My Device app in the wild. The text in the app shows that users can mark a device as lost, such as a phone or tablet. Any other Android device that comes in contact with the missing gadget will receive pings via Bluetooth. Once this happens, the passing Android device will report the “sighting” to the network. Users will also be able to ring their devices, which can be useful if you are within range of the lost item.

The Find My Device app will also allow users to track shared devices. Whether it’s gadgets you use at home or business devices, the app will allow users to share ownership. In such a case, all parties with access to a device location will be able to find it once it is lost.

Protect vehicle data

Google’s Find My Device app will also help users secure their data on lost or stolen devices, such as a car equipped with Android Auto. Users will be able to create profiles for their cars and lock their information if someone steals their car. This way, thieves will not have access to any personal information that they might otherwise get hold of from the Android Auto user interface.

Find My Device will also allow users to remove their profile remotely from the stolen vehicle. There is no guarantee, however, that all of these features will be available in the Find My Device app at launch. What is clear is that there is no Google tracker in the works yet.

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