Google may be looking to take on Apple with a new device-locating network of its own. The iPhone maker had enhanced it ‘Find My’ network with the launch of its Airtags product earlier this year. The Airtags are trackers that can be attached to keys and other devices and then tracked from another Apple device. According to a report from XDA Developers, Google may be looking to leverage its Play Services app to build a system like this of its own.
The publication found code in the most recent version of the Play Services app that seems to suggest the same. The Play Services app is built into every smartphone with an official Google-licensed version of Android. That covers virtually every Android phone on the planet and is perhaps the only network that’s as large as Apple’s device network. Of course, teardowns of an app’s code cannot be taken as official developments, but reports like this have been found to be correct quite often.
It’s also worth noting that Google does offer services that allow devices to be located right now. The Android Device Manager allows users to track their smartphones remotely, wipe their data when required, and more. With a “Find My” network like Apple’s, the company may be planning to make devices like the Airtags.
Between Android phones, tablets, smartwatches, and smart TVs, Google had the Play Services app on enough devices to create a large and worldwide network. The company could also make this inherent part of Android, which would allow third parties to leverage Google’s software in order to build Airtags-like devices of its own as well. South Korean smartphone maker, Samsung, already sells its own versions of these, but having the software built into Android will allow smaller OEMs to build devices like these too.