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Post: Apple’s Find My system is coming to Android – Computerworld



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Piecing together online reports, the system works like this: If you’re using a compatible device and it detects you are being tracked, you will receive a notification warning you. You’ll also be able to disable the tracker from your device. iPhone users will get this message: “This item isn’t certified on the Apple Find My network. You can disable this item and stop it from sharing its location with the owner. To do this, follow the instructions provided on a website by the manufacturer of this item.”

What Google said about Find My

“With the new Find My Device network, you’ll be able to locate your devices even if they’re offline,” an email from Google explains. That email also explains how the system can be used to track lots of different compatible devices, and how it works. Android users can opt out of the tracking system if they wish.

What isn’t yet clear is whether this support will extend across all Android devices or across all devices from all manufacturers, though it seems likely it will be supported by current devices running current iterations of the OS. The feature has been spotted in the wild by Android users running Google Play Services beta 24.12.14.

What happens next?

With almost a year’s work now done, it appears Find My is finally ready for cross platform take-off, with Google contacting some Android users to tell them the network will launch in “days.”

The long wait between last year’s announcement of the system and it becoming a shipping product reflects the deliberate nature of the standard specification process. News of the decision to work together on Find My was followed by a three-month period of review, updates to the original specification, and once that was set, work on the relevant device operating systems.

When will it be available?

Introduction of Find My support on Android might also require Apple’s own devices be updated to support the new specification. That suggests either that Apple will accelerate introduction of iOS 17.5 (unlikely, given that it was only recently made available in beta and is expected in May), or that it may have found some other way to introduce cross-platform support; perhaps it’s already in the system. iOS 17.5 is significant for two more reasons: Not only will it allow EU developers to sell software to iPhone users directly from their websites, but for enterprise users it will make it possible to enforce a beta version during automated device enrolment.

Lora Helmin

Lora Helmin

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