Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Google updates Find My Device network, adds new feature to warn about unknown AirTags with you

Shortly after last week’s joint announcement which saw Apple and Google teaming up on Bluetooth tracker safety measures and a new specification, Google today introduced a series of improvements coming to its own Find My Device network as well as proactive alerts about unknown trackers traveling with you with support for Apple’s AirTag and others.

The news, detailed today at Google’s I/O developer conference, follows Apple and Google’s recently announced plan to lead an industry-wide initiative to draft a specification that would alert users in the case of unwanted tracking from Bluetooth devices.

The companies’ larger goal is to offer increased safety and security for their own respective user bases by making these alerts work across platforms in the same way — meaning, for example, the work Apple did to make AirTags safer following reports they were being used for stalking would also make its way to Android devices.

Today, Google is building on that announcement by noting that unknown tracker alerts will soon automatically notify users if their phone detects an unknown tracker moving with them.

The feature, arriving later this summer, will work with Bluetooth trackers, including Apple AirTags, and all the other trackers that are already compatible with Google’s Find My Device network.

In addition, Google is updating its Find My Device experience to make it easier to locate devices by ringing them or viewing their location on a map — even if they’re offline, it says.

This, too, will arrive later this summer, along with new support for Bluetooth trackers from Tile, Chipolo, and Pebblebee, as well as audio devices like Pixel Buds and headphones from Sony and JBL.

It seems the technology in the draft specification around trackers proposed by Apple and Google will be making its way to Android devices ahead of the production release — which is expected to arrive by year-end, the companies previously noted.

Their draft had been submitted as an Internet-Draft via a standards development organization, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Other interested parties were invited to review and comment over the next few months.

Apple and Google said other tracker makers like Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security and Pebblebee had also expressed interest in their draft.

Google updates Find My Device network, adds new feature to warn about unknown AirTags with you by Sarah Perez originally published on TechCrunch

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