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Report: Android 15 enables tracking of switched-off devices

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In Short:

Google is set to release Android 15 this year with a focus on enhanced digital privacy and phone tracking capabilities. A new Powered Off Finding API will allow users to locate their phones even when they are switched off. However, not all devices running on Android 15 may support this feature due to hardware requirements. The rollout is expected to begin in mid-2024, starting with Google Pixel 9.

Google Set to Release Android 15 with Enhanced Safety Features

android 15 could let you track device

Google has announced that it will be launching Android 15 later this year. The focus of this new version is to enhance consumer safety by providing them with the ability to track their phones even when they are switched off. Currently, users relying on Google’s Find My Device feature are only able to locate their phones if they are switched on. This limitation arises when the phone’s battery dies or if it is intentionally turned off by someone else, making it challenging to track the device under such circumstances.

New Powered Off Finding API

Google is introducing a new feature called Powered Off Finding API in Android 15, which will enable users to track their devices even when they are powered off. According to a report by Android Police, this system will work by storing pre-computed Bluetooth beacons within the memory of the Bluetooth controller.

Hardware Requirements

It is important to note that not all devices running on Android 15 will be capable of supporting this feature due to the need for specialized hardware. While some older devices will receive the Android 15 update from their respective OEMs, it does not guarantee that they will be able to utilize this functionality.

Expected Support

The report suggests that Google Pixel 9 will have the capability to support the Powered Off Finding feature. Additionally, Pixel 8 is also expected to support it given its hardware specifications. However, it is worth mentioning that this feature may consume some battery power, even when the phone is switched off.

Rollout Schedule

Google has not provided a specific date for the release of Android 15, but it is anticipated to be rolled out officially around mid-2024, beginning with the Pixel 9 series. Following the pattern, Samsung is likely to be among the first OEMs to introduce this update for its flagship devices.

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