Apple offers a vast ‘Find My’ network to locate users AirPods, Phone, iPad, Mac, AirTag, and other gadgets on a map. In Android’s beta code, XDA has discovered that Google is working on a similar network supported by billions of Android devices. Find My network is a crowdsourced network that allows users to find their lost devices, even without an internet connection, in the Find My app.
The Find My network is a crowdsourced network of hundreds of millions of Apple devices that use Bluetooth wireless technology to detect missing devices or items nearby, and report their approximate location back to the owner. The entire process is end-to-end encrypted and anonymous, so no one else, not even Apple or the third-party manufacturer, can view a device’s location or information.
And now Google is working on building its own version of Apple’s crowdsourcing network.
Google Play Services version 21.24.13 in the beta reveals a new Apple ‘Find My Device’ like feature
XDA found two strings of a crowdsourcing network in the Google Play Service beta code.
The new strings clearly suggest that Google is working on a “Find My Device” network leveraging Google Play Services to “[allow] your phone to locate your and other people’s devices.” Google already has an app called “Find My Device” available on the Play Store, but it can only find devices that are signed into your Google account. If this “Find My Device” network goes live, then you’ll be able to help other Android users locate their lost or stolen device.”
The report claims that the only company which can replicate Apple’s crowdsourcing network is Google because of its Google Play Service apps on every Android device.
Although Android can be found in many different types of devices, it’s likely that a large percentage of the over 3 billion devices running the OS worldwide is made of smartphones. The vast majority of Android smartphones sold outside of China have the Play Services app preinstalled, which could mean they’ll be eligible to participate in the “Find My Device” network.
Google Play Services is one of the key components of Google Mobile Services (GMS), a suite of Google-made apps and services that the company distributes to smartphone makers seeking to sell an Android device. GMS also bundles the Play Store, the largest app store in the Android ecosystem. Device makers seeking to preinstall the Play Store on their Android devices must also include many other components of Google Mobile Services, including Google Play Services among other apps.
Recently, Apple opened Find My network to third-party accessories and devices by companies like Belkin, Chipolo and others.