A few years ago, we heard that Google was planning to launch its own Find My Device network. Google already has a way for Android users to locate missing or misplaced phones, but this method would allow it to work even when offline. Unfortunately, if you were hoping to see this feature launch soon, don’t hold your breath.
A post on X by Mishaal Rahman has revealed that Google is still waiting for Apple to deploy its unwanted tracker alert system for iOS first. For those unfamiliar, in 2023 both Apple and Google announced that they would be working together to prevent unwanted tracking via Bluetooth trackers.
When will Google launch its Find My Device network? We still don't know, but here's the latest update:
Google said they won't roll their Find My Device network until Apple implements unwanted tracker alerts in iOS. Apple is waiting for the Detecting Unwated Location… pic.twitter.com/j0WtX74eWm
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) February 2, 2024
Both companies, along with others in the industry, are creating a standard to prevent unwanted tracking. According to Rahman’s timeline, Apple is waiting for the Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers (DULT) specification to be chartered by the Internet Engineering Task Force.
The IETF will conduct an initial review before sending it for a community review followed by a final review. This is expected to be completed mid-March at the earliest. Once that’s done, Google will then have to wait for Apple to actually deploy the feature before Google rolls out its network.
It is unclear how quickly Apple will roll out the alerts, so depending on how long they take, it could be months before Google’s own Find My Device network is launched. It was initially expected to take place towards the end of 2023, but that clearly did not happen.