Google appears to be taking its Find My Device feature to new heights by introducing the ability to track smartphones even when they are powered off. This feature may sound familiar, as Apple already offers similar functionality with its Find My network, allowing users to locate any Apple device including iPhones, iPads, and AirTags, even if they are turned off. With Google’s new update, users may soon be able to enjoy this same convenience and security for their Android devices.
Pixel Power-off Finder Could Launch Soon
The upcoming functionality was revealed to 91Mobiles by tipster Kuba Wojciechowski, who said that the feature could arrive by the name “Pixel Power-off Finder.”
The Mountain View behemoth is said to be working on a massive network of Android devices, and it has reportedly released an early source code of Android 14 with OEMs participating in the Early Access Program (EAP).
The creation of this massive network of Android devices was signaled in June 2021, when reports indicated that Google is creating a tracking network similar to Apple’s by utilizing more than 3 billion Android devices as network nodes. The phones spread around the world would aid in determining the device’s last known location.
Google teased in December 2022 that the Find My Device functionality can track lost or stolen Android phones even when they are not connected to the internet.
It’s great that Google has made progress by enabling the ability to detect devices even when they’re turned off.
The source code for Android 14 that was recently released to OEMs enrolled in the EAP includes a new Hardware Abstraction Layer called hardware.google.bluetooth.power off finder, which would necessitate some level of hardware support, but we anticipate that future Pixel phones will include the functionality enabled.
There’s no info on when this feature could roll out, but given that Google’s I/O event is just a month away, the tech giant could throw some light on this budding functionality.
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published: Friday, April 7, 2023, 14:54 [IST]