Apple Find My

Google Delays Find My Device Expansion for Enhanced User Safety

Google Delays Find My Device Expansion for Enhanced User Safety
Google has announced a delay in the expansion of its Find My Device feature, citing concerns for user safety and the prevention of unwanted location tracking. This decision comes as the industry specification proposed by Google and Apple is not yet fully ready. Google's Erik Kay emphasized the commitment to user safety, stating that they will postpone the rollout of the Find My Device network until Apple implements protections for iOS.

At Google's I/O 2023 keynote, plans were revealed to leverage existing Android devices for tracking lost gadgets, including phones, compatible accessories, and Bluetooth item trackers. This approach resembles Apple's Find My network. Initially, the plan was to launch the enhanced Find My Device network in the summer. However, Google has opted to wait for Apple to also integrate unknown tracker alerts into iOS, similar to what it does for AirTags. This way, both major mobile platforms can identify new trackers effectively.

While the initial target for the more comprehensive Find My Device network was the summer, Google has not provided a new timetable for its release. This delay has also impacted accessory maker Chipolo's compatible trackers.

To address unknown tracker alerts, Google has introduced a system-level feature on many Android phones. This feature will warn users when an unknown AirTag is detected, potentially signaling unwanted tracking. Users can tap the notification to learn more about the tracker and even make it emit a sound to help locate it discreetly. Manual scans for nearby trackers are also possible, making it a versatile safety measure.

What's noteworthy is that this privacy and safety feature will be available for phones running Android 6 and later, reaching back to Marshmallow. Google is adding unknown tracker alerts via a software update to Google Play Services, ensuring broader accessibility beyond major Android releases.

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