Google might be working to compete with Apple's device-locating network
Business Standard|June 20, 2021
Last year, 2,352 employees were paid more “across nearly every demographic category,” according to Google. (Photo: Bloomberg)
(Photo: Bloomberg)

American technology giant Google might be working on turning Android phones into a hivemind capable of finding lost devices, similar to what Apple's Find My network does.

According to The Verge, a toggle for this new feature recently showed up in a beta version of Google Play Services, with code referencing the ability for phones to help locate other devices, potentially signalling that Android phones could soon become easier to find.

Google's own support page says, the current Find My Device system can only find phones that are powered on, have a data or Wi-Fi signal, and have location services enabled.

At this early stage, it's quite unclear as to which, if any, of those limitations the relay network feature, apparently called Spot, would solve, but when one is looking for a lost phone, any advantage is good to have.

As per Mashable, there is also a setting that would allow users to turn off the feature, making it so their phone wouldn't help locate other devices.

Given the limited information, it's unclear whether the Find My Device network will be able to find things other than phones, like Apple's Find My network or Samsung's Galaxy Find network are capable of doing. Because this an unpacked code from a Beta release, there is a chance that these changes might never see an actual public release.

Notably, Google has other projects that involve using a network of Android phones, like its earthquake detection feature. While the implementation is different, the underlying concept is likely very similar.

There are more than 3 billion active Android devices, which is a large crowd to source information from, be it their accelerometer data, or the location of a misplaced phone.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sun, June 20 2021. 17:58 IST

Breve historia de una mecánica nacional

Cuatro décadas de música electrónica en México

5 mins read
Revista MARVIN
Septiembre - Octubre 2021

You've Heard This One Before

Maggie Nelson believes we react too quickly and think ungenerously. In her new book, she’s guilty of doing both.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
September 13 - 26, 2021

Jessica Chastain and Liv Ullmann – Same Role, 48 Years Apart

Jessica Chastain reprises Liv Ullmann’s part in the Ingmar Bergman classic Scenes From a Marriage. Their approaches couldn’t be more different.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
September 13 - 26, 2021

2 Alaska Towns Allow Texts to 911 When Calling Not an Option

Residents in Wrangell and Petersburg now have the ability to text 911 for help when calling isn’t an option.

1 min read
September 10, 2021

China's Alibaba Promises $15.5B For Development Initiatives

E-commerce giant Alibaba Group said it will spend $15.5 billion to support President Xi Jinping’s campaign to spread China’s prosperity more evenly, adding to pledges by tech companies that are under pressure to pay for the ruling Communist Party’s political initiatives.

2 mins read
September 10, 2021

As Flood Alerts Lit Up Phones, Did ‘Warning Fatigue' Set In?

Cellphones across New York and New Jersey pulsed with urgent warnings of catastrophic flooding as the fury of Hurricane Ida’s remnants, carrying torrential rains, upper New Jersey and New York City.

4 mins read
September 10, 2021

Biden's Benghazi Moment

How the deadly Kabul AIRPORT ATTACK and bungled Afghanistan pullout could HAUNT HIS PRESIDENCY–and cost him the midterms.

8 mins read
September 10, 2021

Are Vaccine Mandates Justifiable?

Some call them reasonable public health measures, while others say they are an un-American invasion of privacy

6 mins read
September 10, 2021


Shay can never hold her chopsticks properly. When she uses them, they crisscross and make an X, and sometimes she cannot quite pick up the slippery pieces of tofu. Her mother laughs.

4 mins read
Spider Magazine for Kids
September 2021

China Limits Children To 3 Hours Of Online Gaming A Week

China is banning children from playing online games for more than three hours a week, the harshest restriction so far on the game industry as Chinese regulators continue cracking down on the technology sector.

2 mins read
September 03, 2021