Google launched its upgraded Find My Device network across the US and Canada to help users locate Android devices by ringing them or viewing location information on a map, even when devices are offline.

Erik Kay, VP of engineering for Google, explained in a blog post the updated service relies on a crowdsourced network of more than a billion Android devices to help users find misplaced items. The new Find My Device works on devices running Android 9 or later operating systems.

With specialised Pixel hardware, the upgraded network allows Pixel 8 and 8 Pro users to find their devices even if they’re powered off or if the battery is dead.

Beginning in May, Android users will also be able to locate everyday items such as keys or luggage attached to integrated Bluetooth tracker tags from supported partners in the Find My Device app.

Kay noted the tracking tags, which are built specifically for the Find My Device network, “will be compatible with unknown tracker alerts across Android and iOS to help protect you from unwanted tracking”.

He added multi-layered protections are built into the Find My Device network to help keep users safe and personal information private.

“This includes end-to-end encryption of location data as well as aggregated device location reporting, a first-of-its-kind safety feature that provides additional protection against unwanted tracking back to a home or private location”.

The upgraded network also allows users of Google’s Nest service to find lost items, such as house keys, within their homes by showing their proximity to the nearest Nest device.