a person holding pixel fold

Jun Wan/ZDNET

Google’s Find My Device network launch may be a little closer, as location-based settings options have started appearing inside the Settings menu.

Earlier this year, Google announced the launch of the “Find My Device” network, which works exactly the same way Apple does – by using devices owned by other people to find your missing device. The launch was delayed in July to give Google time to implement unwanted tracker alerts, but now it appears things are progressing again as the Android Find My Device settings screen gets some new location-based sharing options. Are meeting.

Too: Google Calendar Just Added Bookable Appointment Scheduling, and It’s Awesome

First spotted by 9to5Google, which dug into the code to find features that may not be fully available yet, there’s a Settings page hidden inside the Find My Device app’s files (it’s essentially Hidden to the public but will be available when the service actually launches) and it lets you choose how you want to find a lost device that isn’t connected to the internet.

The first option, “Off”, describes how Find My Device currently works. With that selected, a lost device cannot be found if it is not connected to the Internet.

Next is the “Without Network” option. Select that, and you’ll be able to find your device by looking at the last known locations where it was online. This still won’t use the network connection but provides a little more information.

The third, however, is the first to use the actual network – the “Only with the network in high-traffic areas” option. By selecting that, your device will use other Internet-connected Android devices to find your device, but only in what Google calls “high-traffic” areas like airports or busy walkways. This means that your device will not be detected if only one other person passes by. Instead, many other tools will be required (what exactly is “high-traffic” is unclear).

Too: best android phones

The last option, which also uses the connectivity of other people’s devices, is “With the network in all areas”, which means you will use other people’s devices to find your devices, no matter where they are. – Even in an area that is not necessarily at high altitude. traffic.

Of course, this raises some privacy concerns. When your device helps someone you don’t even know, what’s really involved in finding their device? Explaining the process, Google writes, “To maintain privacy and security, your device locations are encrypted using a PIN, pattern, or password for your Android device and are not visible to Google.”

The company also assures users that even if your device is used to help someone else find their device, that other person will not be able to see anything about you or your device.

Too: Do you have satellite communications equipment yet? It could save your life

To make sure Find My Device is enabled on your Android phone, go to Settings, Security & Privacy and then Find My Device.

Right now, there is still no official launch date set for the Android Find My Device network. But, the change in settings at least indicates some activity, and hints at the feature being shut down soon.

Source