Android

Android’s Find My Device network will soon rival Apple’s Find My with Bluetooth tracker support

Summary

  • Android’s Find My Device network is expanding to support Blueooth smart trackers, catching up to Apple’s Find My network.
  • New Android-compatible trackers from Chipolo, Pebblebee, Eufy, Motorola, and Jio will be available soon.
  • Google and Apple are working together to ensure smartphone users are notified if an unknown Bluetooth tracker is nearby, enhancing security.



Apple’s Find My network may have the first-mover advantage, but Android is finally catching up, both in network coverage and compatibility.


While Google still doesn’t sell its own AirTag rival — I haven’t lost hope in those Pixel Tag rumors — but the Google Find My Device network, which rolled out to all Android devices back in April, will finally expand its support to Android-compatible smart tags by the end of May.

The new device location network is currently only compatible in the US and Canada, but by the end of May, Android users in those places will be able to keep tabs on their important personal effects, like car keys and wallets, via Bluetooth trackers.

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A person holding up a phone with maps open and the Chilipo smart device tracker in their right hand

Source: Chipolo



Android users will have a small selection of Find My Device-compatible trackers

To date, all Bluetooth trackers compatible with Android have run through their respective companies’ tracking networks, like Tile, Chipolo, Pebblebee and, unsurprisingly, Samsung. We’re fans of Samsung’s SmartTag 2, but it’s only compatible with its own SmartThings Find network. Now, the launch of Google’s Find My Device network for Androids heralds an explosion of Android-friendly trackers.

At the moment, a couple of options from Chipolo and Pebblee are available for preorder now, and will be available on May 27th. Later this year, Find My Device-compatible trackers are also coming from Eufy, Motorola, and Jio.

Unfortunately, none of the upcoming trackers, for reasons technical or competitive, are compatible with both Android’s Find My Device network and Apple’s Find My network. That means these trackers are confined to one particular ecosystem, but both Apple and Google have teamed up to ensure that, regardless of product or ecosystem, smartphone users are notified when an unknown Bluetooth tracker is nearby.


Replace-AirTag-battery 5


Google and Apple joined forces to keep Bluetooth tracker misuse at bay

Many iPhone users are aware of what happens when an AirTag not registered to its owner is within proximity of their device: the iPhone will get alerted that an unknown AirTag is nearby, providing the opportunity to track it down and verify its ownership.

As part of Google’s broader Find My Device release, both Apple and Google have agreed, using the Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers (DULT) specification, on a common tracking standard that will notify both iPhone and compatible Android phone users when an unknown Bluetooth tracker — any device compatible with either network — is nearby. While the specification itself isn’t finalized, both companies are satisfied with its current “production implementation” state.



Going forward, the two biggest mobile ecosystems on the planet will be better prepared to signal when a Bluetooth tracker has lingered nearby for too long, which is a boon to user security.

Now we just need more options to choose from.

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