In addition to locating your device directly from Google’s recently redesigned My Account page, you can now simply say in the mobile Google app, “OK Google, show me my Google Account”. Soon, you’ll also be able to search Google for “I lost my phone”.
But can it locate my iPhone and iPad?
The ambiguous wording—“The feature can be used to find lost Android and iOS devices,” says Google—makes it unclear how Google would pinpoint location of a lost or misplaced iOS device because Find Your Phone is not deeply integrated into the bowels of Apple’s operating system like the Find My iPhone feature.
To use this feature, you can visit the My Account webpage or head straight to the Find Your Phone web app. After signing in with your Google Account, you will see the Find Your Phone link on the splash screen.
How to use Find Your Phone
Tap it and you’re presented with a list of iOS and Android smartphones, tablets and other devices using your Google account. Although I was able to locate my Galaxy S7 loaner on a world map and remotely wipe it using the Android Device Manager, the entry for my iPhone 6s informed me to “visit iCloud.com to help finding” the device.
It’s a bummer, granted, but one that I do not blame Google for because, as I said, Google is not embedded deeply into iOS so Google cannot track iOS device location at all times, nor can it issue a remote-wipe request.
That being said, the tool walks an unsuspecting iOS user through a checklist of things to do to help retrieve a lost or stolen iPhone or iPad, such as trying to call one’s mobile phone number, reaching out to a carrier to disable the SIM card, signing out of a Google Account on a lost device and more.
“We’re also making it easier than ever to find My Account by searching Google,” reads the post. “Coming soon, you’ll be able to simply search for your own name, and if you’re signed in, you’ll see a shortcut to My Account.”
The search firm wrote that in the near future you’ll be able to search Google for “I lost my phone”. That future is now for me.
As evidenced on the screenshot I took at the time of this writing, searching Google for “I lost my phone” immediately pulled up a brand new card at the top of my search results, showing the location of my Galaxy S7 loaner and options to ring the drive remotely.
My Account is awesome
Since launching a year ago today, the My Account hub has been accessed over a billion times, said Google. One of the great My Account features is an online privacy and security checkup tool that analyzes your Google Account settings and recommends steps to make your account even more secure.