According to 9to5Google, which went further into the software bundle and reported on the results, it appears that Google will release an Android app called Find My Device that would allow you to register a smartphone or tablet as missing. Any Android smartphones passing by will use Bluetooth to search for the lost device, similar to Apple’s Find My app, which uses passive pinging to locate Apple devices that have opted into the Find My network. When the device in issue is detected by other phones and tablets pinging the network, you’ll get a notification, and it won’t reveal any personally identifying information.
The software has the ability to make the missing gadget ring so that anyone seeking for it may find it—similar to listening for your vehicle alarm in a crowded multi-story parking garage.
When you go further into Find My Devices, you’ll discover that you may “share” ownership of a smartphone or tablet. This is especially handy if you run a small business with doled-out gadgets or if you have a child who is prone to forgetting stuff. Find My Device shows you where the shared device is, and associated Android devices will alert you if they see it on the network.
There aren’t many specifics on how the Find My Device network differs from Apple’s Find My network. A previous 9to5Google article discovered references to a network dubbed “Spot” in another APK. It would ping for accessible devices using a rotating encryption key without revealing the device that was initiating the connection. Spot makes advantage of the Eddystone protocol, which Google developed years ago for “proximity beacon messages,” often known as Nearby alerts. It’s a result of a previous Google that prioritized a physical web over a cloud-based one. However, spam bots ultimately took over Spot, prompting Google to disable Nearby notification access in 2018.