Google's Pixel 8 and 8 Pro can now be tracked even with a dead battery

Calvin D

Google's latest Pixel 8 series phones boast a new feature that allows them to be located even if they are powered down or their batteries are depleted. This update is part of the new and improved Find My Device network announced today. The ability to track these devices offline is thanks to "specialized Pixel hardware" in the newest models. According to Google spokesperson Natalie Johnson, this is possible because of a reserve power dedicated to the Bluetooth chip, which keeps the device locatable "for several hours" after it turns off due to a low battery or being manually powered down, as confirmed by a help center page.

There is hope that this feature will also be available on future devices like the Pixel Fold 2 and the Pixel 9 / 9 Pro. However, it remains to be seen whether the more affordable Pixel 8A will include this capability, especially since it might be introduced at next month's I/O event.

Notably, Apple and Samsung offer similar offline tracking features for their devices. They each utilize vast networks of other devices to help pinpoint yours if it's lost or stolen, regardless of it being offline.

Google's updated Find My Device network is launching today in the US and Canada. Starting in May, tracking accessories from Chipolo and other brands will integrate with Google's crowdsourced network. Google emphasizes its commitment to security and privacy with this rollout, featuring safeguards such as alerts for unknown trackers, end-to-end encryption, and controls to limit the frequency of location requests, among other security measures.

This development signifies a significant move towards enhancing device security and user peace of mind, reducing worries about lost or stolen phones.