Google is reportedly developing a new feature for Find My Device that will allow you to locate your missing Pixel phone even if it’s off. The feature may be called the “Pixel Power-off Finder,” according to tipster Kuba Wojciechowski. Essentially, the feature works by keeping the Bluetooth on your device enabled at all times. Even when your phone is not on. This is similar to how Apple’s iPhones work.
Even when powered off, Android smartphones will soon have the ability to be tracked
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The source code for Android 14 enrolled in the Early Access Program includes a new Hardware Abstraction Layer. It’s called hardware.google.bluetooth.power_off_finder that would make the magic happen. However, the feature may require some hardware support. It’s not entirely clear if existing Android devices on the market can support the feature. But we’d expect future devices, at least Pixels, to come with hardware capable of handling it.
Google has been working on the next generation of Find My Device for over a year now. The service may create a tracking network of Android devices similar to Apple’s. This network would allow you to pinpoint a lost phone’s location by taking advantage of the more than 3 billion Android devices located around the world.
Google teased the arrival of the network in December and started rolling out a “Store recent location” toggle for Find My Device in January. This toggle would allow you to opt-in to share your location with Google. The feature would prompt your phone to share its location whenever the battery dipped below a certain level. It gives you a head start if your phone dies before you realize it’s missing.
There’s been no word from Google on when or if this new tracking feature will be available. However, we may learn more at the upcoming Google I/O event.