When Apple added AirTags to its ecosystem this year and updated other features of its “Find My” network, it made the entire “Find My” feature much more marketable. It’s been said that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” and that definitely rings true with a recent indication that Google may be working on its own “Find Device Network.”
Apple’s “Find My” Upgrades
Apple started with its “Find My iPhone” app, and over the years, it just became “Find My” once it allowed users to also find iPads, MacBooks, AirPods, Apple Watches, etc. Earlier this year, it was announced that third-party devices associated with Apple could now be found as well.
Shortly after that news, Apple released AirTags, its locating devices similar to the Tile. Of course, the devices are found with “Find My.” The entire system increased Apple devotees’ reliance on the ecosystem.
APK Shows Possible Google “Find My Network”
It looks like Google could have similar aspirations. An APK teardown shows that Google is interested in creating its own network of devices.
An APK is the file format used by Android to distribute and install apps. It contains a program’s code, resources, certificates, etc.
When Google Play Services version 21.24.13 was released to beta, XDA Developers tore through the code and found these strings of code that included the words: “Allows your phone to help locate your and other people’s devices” and “Find My Device network.”
This string of code makes it appear Google is working on a “Find Device Network” for Android that would utilize Google Play Services.
Do note that while Google currently has a “Find My Device” app on Google Play, it only finds devices signed in to your Google account. If Google does institute a “Find Device Network,” it would help you find the Android devices of your friends and family as well.
Other Recent “Find My” Google Moves
A possible “Find My Network” isn’t the only time Google has dipped its toe into Apple’s “Find My” pool. Back in April, Google announced five changes to Google Assistant.
One of these changes is “Hey Google, find my iPhone.” iOS users who use Google Assistant can utter this phrase, and a sound will ring on a misplaced phone to help find it. This means users can use a Nest or Home smart speaker to help them find their iPhones.
It appears Google is trying to cover all its bases with all phones. It wants you to use Google Assistant to find your iPhone instead of Apple’s system, which is undeniably better than just ringing a tone. But now Google also wants to implement its own Apple-like “Find Device Network.” Perhaps Google sees this as a way to fight Apple when it comes to their ongoing popularity contest.