Samsung has taken a leaf out of Apple’s book and upgraded its Find My Mobile app with offline support so that Galaxy phones can be located by other Galaxy devices even if the lost handset isn’t connected to a network.
The update to the Find My Mobile feature was spotted by XDA Developer’s Max Weinbach, and has apparently been rolling out over the past couple of days. Our Galaxy Note 10 Plus has yet to receive the update, but that’s could be because we’re using the handset in the UK and the update might not have reach British shores yet.
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The updated Find My Mobile app works by using a Galaxy device to scan an area for other lost Galaxy gadgets. It’s not clear how exactly it does this, but it could probably look for MAC addresses relating to a lost device’s Bluetooth connection to locate the device or use near-field communication tech to detect nearby Galaxy devices.
Looks like Samsung just added offline finding to Samsung's Find My Mobile.Let's you track your phone even if it doesn't have WiFi or cellular by using other Galaxy users. pic.twitter.com/psLl1rcb4XAugust 22, 2020
This is a feature iPhones and iPads have had for a while now, with the Find My iPhone/iPad app, which comes installed on the devices by default, to locate devices even if they don’t have a network connection.
Granted, both Samsung’s and Apple offline location feature will require people to be in the areas where they lost their phone. But it could make finding a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra that's fallen out of someone’s pocket and into some long grass a lot easier process; we don’t advise you get negligent with ensuring your phone is secure in your pocket or handbag when you’re out and about.
There’s also a new feature in the Find my Mobile app that allows users to “encrypt offline location.” It’s not clear what that’s for but we’d hazard a guess that its a way for a lost Galaxy device to obscure its location unless someone has the right password for it when scanning for its location. Or it could be an extra layer of security to keep the device’s location data locked down and away from devices that might not be searching for it directly.
If you don’t have the update yet you can either wait for it to be pushed out to your Galaxy device or you can go to Samsung’s Galaxy Store to download it, providing it’s reached the online store in your nation.