Google’s ‘Find My Device’ Update Gets Delayed, as It Plays Safe
Google has been working on deploying some industry-leading Android features. The company was emphasizing this in its 2023 I/O event by announcing changes to its ecosystem for new security improvements. Google said it is delaying the broad expansion of its Find My Device function out of concern for personal safety. This is because the feature doesn’t live up to the industry standards Google and Apple have set.
“User safety and the prevention of unwanted location tracking is a top priority for Android,” said Google’s Erik Kay in a blog post today. “At this time, we’ve decided to delay the Find My Device network rollout until Apple has implemented protections for iOS,”
Google’s Commitment to Security Features Since the 2023 Google I/O Event
Back at its Google I/O 2023 keynote, Google disclosed plans to use millions of existing Android devices, compatible peripherals, and a new generation of Bluetooth item trackers to assist in finding your lost electronics. That’s because the implementation sounds quite like Apple’s Find My Network. Initially, this more extensive Find My Device network was supposed to be introduced over the summer.
Google has now chosen to hold off until Apple also implements unknown tracker alerts. This is something Apple already does for its own AirTags, and ultimately those alerts will also be able to distinguish between trackers that use Google’s Find My Device network. But we’re not there yet, and it appears like Google wants to delay the release of new trackers until both significant mobile platforms can find them.
The goal of Apple and Google’s initial joint news release was to “release a production implementation of the specification for unwanted tracking alerts by the end of 2023 that will then be supported in future versions of iOS and Android.” So, Google’s early summer estimate for the larger Find My Device network was too ambitious.
Speaking of unidentified tracker notifications, Google has announced a new security feature starting this month. Android phones will now start alerting users when an unidentified AirTag is found to be traveling with them. This comes as a clear intention to separate it from the owner. In other words, you will be given a helpful heads-up if someone is attempting to covertly follow your location without your consent. This is a built-in, system-level prompt and won’t call for the download of any other apps.
New Date for Update
The fact that this new privacy and safety feature will be widely accessible for phones running Android 6 and later, is possibly its best feature. This is due to Google Play Services receiving a software upgrade that adds alerts for unknown trackers. Therefore, you should be able to benefit from this new security measure even if your phone isn’t receiving significant Android updates anymore.
Google prioritizing users’ safety and delaying its update is a good sign for Android users in the market. Because you can always see the iOS advertisements making fun of the Andriod security features. Let’s see how Google makes of the extra time it’s seeking for the update. So far, Google has not given a new launch date for the robust tracking network.