Google has hinted at the release of a Find My Device network for Android devices in the latest Play System update. This network, similar to Apple’s Find My network, would allow users to track their lost or stolen Android devices even when they are not in range of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and are powered off.
New Google Play system update introduces find my device network for Android
The updated December 2022 release notes for the Play System update mention a “privacy centric framework” and the ability to send encrypted last-known-location reports for Find My Device. This suggests that the Find My Device network could soon be rolled out to all Android devices.
The December Play System update for Android phones introduced the ability to add driver licenses to Google Wallet in select US states. It also included several other new features, one of which is automatic app archiving. This feature, announced in March 2022, enables users to uninstall an app from their phone to free up space while still saving the app data locally. When the app is reinstalled, the user will get the same experience as before.
App archiving was introduced in late November with Google Play Store v33.4, and has now been enhanced with the addition of automatic app archiving. This feature activates when storage space is running low on the phone, and helps to free up space without disrupting the user experience. It is particularly useful for low-end and budget Android devices with limited internal storage. The automatic app archiving feature is being rolled out as part of Google Play Store v33.5.
The latest update to Google Play Services has added Digital Car Key support to Xiaomi phones, a feature previously only available on select Samsung and Pixel phones. It also enables Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 2 users to manage payment cards linked to their wearables using the Google Wallet app. In addition, Google is improving ID verification by checking the quality of uploaded ID images.
The Find My Device network, part of Google Play Services v50.22 and Google Play Store v33.5, is a highly anticipated feature as it allows users to track lost or stolen Android devices in a similar way to Apple’s Find My network.
The updates, which started rolling out on December 12 and will be released on December 15, also include the ability to add driver licenses to Google Wallet in select US states, automatic app archiving to free up storage space, and Digital Car Key support on Xiaomi phones. These features provide a range of useful options for Android users.