Android 15: Locate Your Smartphone Even When Off

Android 15: Locate Your Smartphone Even When Off

Finding a lost or misplaced Android phone can be a troubling ordeal, especially when the device is powered off. Google's Find My Device service, while helpful, faces constraints when the device is not connected. With the advent of Android 15, Google is addressing this challenge through the introduction of a new Powered Off Finding API.

Enhanced Device Location with Android 15

A recent article from Android Police reveals insights into how this API could aid in locating devices even when they are turned off. The mechanism involves storing pre-calculated Bluetooth beacons in the Bluetooth controller's memory.

Hardware Requirements and Compatibility

However, there is a requirement for specialized hardware to enable the device to power the Bluetooth controller, enabling its operation even when the phone is completely shut down. This functionality may necessitate a small battery reserve to remain active.

Potential Device Compatibility

Initial speculations hinted at the Pixel 9 being the first to feature this capability. Yet, the latest report from Android Police suggests that the Pixel 8 could also enjoy this functionality upon upgrading to Android 15.

Apart from the hardware prerequisites, substantial software development efforts are essential to support the Bluetooth Finder HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer). Users are advised to update to Android 15 and ensure they have the most recent version of Google's Find My Device service installed.

Regrettably, older devices like the Pixel Fold, Pixel 7 series, and Pixel 6 series may not be as likely to receive this feature. It remains uncertain whether these devices lack the required hardware or if the limitations are solely software-related.

Nonetheless, there is a potential for this feature to expand to select older devices in the future, especially for recent premium models like the Pixel Fold.

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