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Android Squares Up To Apple In Device Tracking

Google looks set to take on Apple’s mighty Find My network with its own equivalent, using Android phones to crowdsource lost device tracking.

As discovered by 9to5Google, a pre-release build of Google’s Find My Device app reveals the ability to mark an Android phone or tablet as “lost”. This will trigger passing devices to spot the device via Bluetooth and send details on the sighting to the network; Google will also attempt to ring the device at that point. Users will also be able to ring their devices themselves if within range.

Text found in the build also reveals the ability to mark a device as “shared”, meaning any co-owner will be able to track it and will alert the others when the device is sighted; 9to5Google suggests this would be useful for family tablets or company smartphones.

If rolled out universally across Android phones, as its inclusion in Google Play Services suggests, the service could potentially have a far greater reach than Apple’s Find My network (above), which relies on iPhones – Apple has around one billion iPhones in use around the world, while Android boasts three times that number.

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