Google unveils major ‘Find Your Device’ update and unknown tracker alerts

Google says others will not be able to determine your location, "not even Google"

At I/O 2023, Google announced a few major updates to its ‘Find Your Device’ service and a new feature. The first is the ability to find a lost device even at significant distances. The second is a new, separate alert that informs you if an unknown tracker has been following you.

To find lost devices even if your phone can’t reach them, Google has developed a system where other nearby Android devices can recognize yours and ping its location to you.

“It’s powered by a network of billions of Android devices around the world,” said vice president of product management Sameer Sama during the keynote. “So, if you leave your earphones at the gym, other nearby Android devices can help you locate them.” He added that “no one else can tell where your devices are located, not even Google.”

Samat went on to say that Tile, Chipolo, and other tags will work with the Find Your Device network.

The second feature will let your device notice if an unfamiliar tracker has been moving with you. It can then alert you to the tracker’s presence. This is in response to recent concerns about trackers being used maliciously by stalkers or other criminals.

Samat highlighted that it’s important for this feature to work on both Android and Apple devices. Last week, Apple and Google announced that they are working together to keep users safe from unwanted trackers across all smartphones. Other companies have expressed their support, including Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, Eufy Security and Pebblebee.

Both features will release later this summer. Read more Google I/O coverage here.