‘Google Pixel will get location detection for when the phone is turned off’

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Google is working on a feature that can track the location of Pixel phones while they are turned off. This is evident from references from the leaked source code of Android 14. The function should also work when the phone’s battery is empty.

Based on the references in the source code, developer Kuba Wojciechowski with 91mobiles has shared, the feature is called ‘Pixel Power-off Finder’. It’s not clear if this means only Pixel devices will get the feature. According to Wojciechowski, this concerns early source code of Android 14 that has been shared with manufacturers who are part of the Early Access program.

The description in the source code states that this feature works by sending precomputed Finger Network keys to the Bluetooth Low Energy chip on the device, so that the chip continues to send signals even when the phone is turned off. This requires that the Bluetooth chip remains switched on at all times. This option is not built into every chip as standard. It is not known whether the Bluetooth hardware of the current Pixel phones already supports this functionality, or whether this will only be the case from the Pixel 8 onwards.

Apple previously released a similar feature as part of its Find My network. The ability to find a switched-off phone is available from the iPhone 11. AirPods and Macs, among others, can also be found by this function while they are switched off.

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