Google might bring AR directions and UWB support to Android's Find My Device

Find My Device list of devices on phone
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A discovery from the Find My Device network app highlights Google's plans to bring AR-based directions and UWB support to Android users.
  • The AR directions would guide users to their UWB-supported tracker or device by layering its UI through a user's camera.
  • The app could give users access to AR-based directions for more than just UWB-capable trackers and devices.

With Google still expanding the reach of its Find My Device network, signs in the app's code point toward new connectivity support.

A deep dive into version 3.1.078-1 of the Find My Device app by AssembleDebug, in conjunction with Android Authority, spilled upcoming UWB and AR support. Starting with the former, strings in the app's code reference "precision finding" for a UWB adapter. The tipster discovered additional "libraries" about the app supporting UWB, with a string highlighting the "startRanging call" function.

With little else to uncover about the potential UWB portion of Find My Device, the tipster detailed the app's AR-based location discovery.

Speculation suggests Google's implementation of AR technology (through ARCore) would pair well with its UWB functionality. Essentially, the company could let users use their Android phone's camera in the app, showing a layered augmented reality UI with directions to guide them to their lost UWB device.

However, AR-based directions to guide users to their lost objects might not be restricted to UWB-support devices. The tipster's discoveries note that strings in the code don't reference the two methods as working exclusively together.

Samsung provides users with AR-based location directions on their device.

(Image credit: Android Authority)

Google's AR and UWB support development is still ongoing, so we likely won't see it for a while.

The post notes that Samsung uses a similar AR-based direction UI with the Galaxy SmartTag 2. The only problem, as the publication notes, is that the feature requires a user to have a UWB-capable Galaxy phone. Google is seemingly moving toward convenience, bringing the UWB tech to the app instead.

At the end of May, Google was tipped to bolster its Find My Device network's user security. A new biometric security option was discovered, giving users an extra layer of safety to their devices in case their phone is away from them. This will likely work well with the network's "don't ask again" option when signing into the app using a Google account.

Additionally, the app's code referenced Google's planned "Remote Lock" feature. Google had already teased it during I/O 2024, stating a user could lock down their phone using their phone number after completing a quick security challenge. This feature isn't expected to arrive until "later this year."

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.