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Android's 'Find My Device' network is live for select users

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Have you ever lost your Android device, leaving you unable to locate it through Android’s Find My Device? Your misplaced device likely couldn’t be located by the feature since it wasn’t connected to the internet then. Fortunately, Google is introducing the Android Find My Device network option. This option will help locate a lost or stolen device even offline.

While the Find My Device network feature was announced in May 2023, the Summer 2023 launch date was indefinitely delayed. The delay occurred as Apple did not have protection against unwanted tracking accessories. Fortunately, that seems to be changing soon, and select users can already see Android’s Find My Device network feature.

Android’s Find My Device network starts going live

Some users have reported a new Find Your Offline Devices option in the Find My Device screen. However, this is only after updating it to the latest beta version of Google Play Services, v24.12.14. Attempting to modify the feature leads to another page with different options for using this feature.

Users can find devices without the network, with the network in high-traffic areas, and with the network in all areas. Furthermore, for users who don’t wish to use this feature, there is also an option to turn it off. Find My Device network is enabled by default and set to find devices with the network in all areas.

This rollout and addition were first pointed out by AssembleDebug on X and validated by many users on Telegram. However, the new feature is rolling out only for selected users. Some users will see it when they open the Find My Device screen; others must wait for its official launch.

How does the ‘Find My Device’ network actually work?

The main advantage the ‘Find My Device’ network provides users is the ability to find the location of an offline device. Previously, the Find My Device feature required the lost or stolen Android device to have an active internet connection before you could locate it.

The Find My Device network will gain access to Google Play Services of all Android phones to find lost devices. This way, the mandatory connection requirement will be removed from the equation. Supported devices include phones, smartwatches, trackers, and headphones.

There will be an option for you to not participate in the network and still be able to locate lost devices by using their stored recent locations. Another option is for your device location information to be accessed only if other devices in the network also detect the lost device.

Lastly, you can allow your device to be used by the Find My Device network even if it is the only device in the network being used to locate the lost device. Regardless of how you set your Android device up in the network, this feature will help many owners of lost or stolen devices.

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