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Google may create Apple Find My-like network for Android soon

New codes spotted in the latest beta version of Google Play Services hint that the company might be looking to establish a crowdsourced network for location tracking.

Story highlights
  • A new crowdsourced network to locate devices might be under works by Google.
  • The network will work much like Apple's Find My network used by AirTags.
  • The network will make use of Google Play Services across Android devices.

Google is reportedly working on a crowdsourced network to locate its devices, much like Apple's Find My network. The ability will allow Android users to gain the precise location of their or another's Android device in case it gets lost or stolen.

The speculation arises from a new code spotted in the latest version of Google Play Services. The findings suggest that Google will make use of Google Play Services on Android devices to create this useful network and enable it for location tracking.

The code has been spotted by XDA Developers in Google Play Services version 21.24.13 that rolled out for beta users on Thursday. It was found to contain strings clearly mentioning the name and functionality of the upcoming feature.

The strings described the name as Find My Device network and mentioned its description as "allows your phone to help locate your and other people's devices." The findings clearly suggest Google's intentions regarding a network much like Apple's Find My.

Note that this is not the first of its kind feature that will let Android users locate their lost devices. Google already offers Find My Device to Android users through an app on Google Play or through the Android Device Manager online. Users can avail of these services to locate their lost phone or wipe their personal data off it if they feel it is stolen or lost for good.

The capability is however limited to a particular user account and the associated devices. Meaning, you cannot search for another Android device from your account. The new Find My Device network will change that.

With the same principle, the ability will also allow location tracking of other smart devices, much like Apple uses its Find My network for its recently launched AirTags. So it would not be wrong to assume that Google might be working to bring such a capability to its Android OS that covers an entire network of smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.

The huge Android ecosystem could easily benefit Google in establishing a widescale coverage for Find My Network. A big plus with the open nature of this ecosystem is that Google might also offer support to third party smart tags once such a network is up and running.

Smart tags are the next hotly anticipated gadget that many OEMs are now rushing to produce of their own. While Apple and Samsung are already in the run, OnePlus recently hinted at the possibility of such a product.