Google working on iPhone-like Find My Device feature for Pixel 8

Google is working on an iPhone-like feature for the Pixel 8 to help users track down lost or stolen phones, even when the device is powered off.

According to a report from 91Mobiles, Google is prepping a feature that would keep the Bluetooth radio active even when the phone has been powered off.

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This, the report says, would enable discovery of the phone and its location using nearby devices and Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology. It’s sounds similar to the ‘Find My’ network Apple uses with iPhones, Macs and its dedicated AirTag trackers.

Google is reportedly set to unveil its own version of the AirTag trackers under the codename ‘Grogu’, which is presumably a nod to the ‘Baby Yoda’ character from The Mandalorian.

The feature is said to rely on hardware to communicate with the Bluetooth chip in the phone, so it might not be a feature we see trickle down to older phones. Google is said to be working with Android phone manufacturers to encourage adoption for their next smartphones.

The discovery of the feature came from digging around in the Android 14 source code, with one string reading ““.

This would seemingly ensure the phone continued to send power to the Bluetooth chip even when the phone is powered off. Of course, there would still need to be power within the phone to send to the Bluetooth chip, but it’s likely there’ll be enough residual power within the phone to keep the Bluetooth chip discoverable in most cases.

It would likely take plenty of phones to adopt the feature for it to become truly useful, given the Apple version leverages a massive network of hundreds of millions of compatible iPhones.

This is potentially something we could see Google announce as part of Android 14 at Google I/O in May and definitely one to keep an eye on.

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