One of the most salient features of an Apple AirTag is how it utilizes the roughly one billion iPhones out there — via the Find My network —  to ping its location even when it's not in Bluetooth range. Wouldn't it be great if Google could somehow capitalize on the more than 3 billion Android devices around the world to help find your lost phone? Well, this might just happen.

The folks over at XDA Developers have found evidence regarding this in an APK teardown of Google Play Services version 21.24.13. The code has new strings that mention a "Find My Device network" and how it could allow your phone to help locate other people's lost or stolen devices.

<string name="mdm_find_device_network_description">Allows your phone to help locate your and other people’s devices.</string>
<string name="mdm_find_device_network_title">Find My Device network</string>

We don't know how or when Google will implement this, but if it does, it could end up creating the most expansive crowdsourced network of devices ever, handily beating the numbers Apple boasted of while announcing the AirTag.

While there are over 3 billion Android devices out there, there's a chance that not all devices would be a part of the network. Some eligibility criteria could render some older Android devices (that are still active) unable to participate, and Google could even let users opt out of the network. Even so, we should be looking at a healthy network of devices that could really come through for us if we ever misplace our phones.

Currently, Google's Find My Device application can only be used to track and remotely wipe devices signed into one's Google account. But if Google decides to capitalize on Android's massive reach, the application could offer much greater utility than that.

Google Find My Device
Google Find My Device
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free