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Google delays Find My Device rollout as Apple drags heels on joint standard

Google has announced its Find My Device network will be delayed beyond this summer, as it waits for Apple to integrate unknown tracker alerts for all Bluetooth-based trackers.

Google announced the Find My Device network at Google I/O in May, while also confirming it was working with Apple on a cross-industry standard to ensure trackers from multiple manufacturers could be identified on both platforms.

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However, Google will not be rolling out the feature until Apple has brought it to iOS. Google says that specification will be finalised by the end of the year.

This will enable iPhone owners to see if trackers made for Google’s Find My Device network had been used to track them, and vice versa. For now, iOS won’t support it, and Google wants to wait for that to be in place.

In a blog post, Google says: “User safety and the prevention of unwanted location tracking is a top priority for Android. We are working in partnership with Apple to help finalise the joint unwanted tracker alert specification by the end of this year. At this time we’ve made the decision to hold the rollout of the Find My Device network until Apple has implemented protections for iOS.”

However, while Apple is dragging its feet with bringing the support to iOS, Google is rolling out the unwanted tracking alerts for devices – including Apple AirTags – today.

Android users will now see a notification if an unknown tracker is travelling with them and is separated from its owner. There’ll be the ability to see the tracker on the map, while there’ll be the option to play a sound, so if it’s been dropped into your bag, for instance, you’ll be able to track it down.

You sense from the statement Google might be a little bit miffed that Apple hasn’t given them the same courtesy, causing a wider delay of the Find My Device service on Android.

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