In the event that you lose or misplace your Android phone or worse, someone steals it, the Find My Device feature helps track you down. Given that the lost phone was signed in with a trackable Google Account, the Find My Device network lets you locate your phone. But this facility is limited. You can track a phone only as long as it is connected to the internet. It’s not like Apple’s Find My service, which can locate devices even when they’re not turned on. Google knows this and is now reportedly working towards implementing that feature.
According to 91Mobiles reportsCiting tipster Kuba Wojciechowski, Google is developing a new feature for the Find My Device service that will let users track connected devices even when they are switched off. It’ll be called the Pixel Power-off Finder, but contrary to that name, it may be available beyond Pixel phones. The feature name may be different for other Android phones. Google is reportedly working on a network of all devices where it will be possible to track them using ultra-wideband (UWB) technology as well as locator tags like the AirTag. The report states that “Grogu” could be the codename for Google’s own locator tag.
Kuba has a good track record when it comes to leaks of upcoming devices. The tipster recently shared information about the upcoming Bluetooth speaker from Nothing. So, if what Kuba said holds any water, then most, if not all, Android phones will be part of an improved Find My Device network that can track them in different ways. Not just the internet, these Android phones can be tracked using the UWB chip in them.
Google has reportedly given the early source code of Android 14 to smartphone brands enrolled in the Early Access Program (EAP). A reference in the source code shows a new Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) definition marked ‘hardware.google.bluetooth.power_of_finder’. This can allow the device to send precomputed finger network keys to the Bluetooth chip, which will continue to operate even when the device is turned off. When a device is located, these keys will reveal the location of the device.
But in order for the Bluetooth chip to be active at all times, additional hardware support is needed — which may or may not be available on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7, the report says. But the Pixel 8 is likely to feature such technology.
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