Google teases an Apple-like Find My Network for Android in the latest Play system update.

Google may supercharge its existing Find My Device network.

Thanks to Apple’s excellent Find My Network, you can track any lost or stolen iPhone, iPad, Mac, or AirTag even if they’re out of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth range and powered off. Google was seen working on a similar Find My Device network in 2021, but hasn’t made much progress on that front since then. The release notes for the updated December 2022 Play system update hint at the arrival of the long-awaited Find My Device network that could make it possible to track lost or stolen Android devices even without an internet connection.

In the revised December 2022 changelog, Google notes that Find My Device uses a new “privacy-centric framework” and supports sending encrypted last known location reports. This could signal that the Find My Device network will soon roll out to all Android devices, allowing them to act as beacons for missing or missing devices.

An early December Play system update introduced support for adding a driver’s license to Google Wallet in select US states. The new release notes highlight additional features that are coming to Android phones. This includes automatic app archiving and digital car support on Xiaomi phones.

Announced in March 2022, app archiving allows you to uninstall apps from your phone to free up space, but app data is stored locally. This ensures that when reinstalling the app, you get the same experience as before you archived it. App archiving started in late November with Google Play Store v33.4. Now, Google is expanding the feature further by automatically archiving apps when your phone is running low on storage space.

This is a welcome addition for low-end budget Android devices with limited internal storage. App Archiving will automatically take care of less storage space in the background without interrupting the user experience. This feature is being introduced as a part of Google Play Store v33.5.

The latest Google Play Services build also enables digital car key support on Xiaomi phones. So far this feature is limited to select Samsung and Pixel phones. Additionally, Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 2 users will now be able to use the Google Wallet app to manage their wearable payment cards.

Finally, Google is expanding ID verification and will check the quality of uploaded ID images.

All the above fixes are part of Google Play Services v50.22 and Google Play Store v33.5. The former is being released today (December 15), while the latest Play Store build started on December 12.

Thanks: Mishal Rehman

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