Google has rolled out an update to its My Account privacy settings hub which includes a new feature called Find your Phone, designed to help users search for lost or stolen Android and iOS devices.
According to Google, the feature will soon be accessible by typing “I lost my phone” into Google search.
While the new Find your Phone feature in My Account can help iPhone users find a lost device, it doesn’t have the same capabilities as Apple’s Find my iPhone on iCloud.
Clicking on Find your Phone will display a list of Android and iOS phones and tablets from which you have signed into a Google account. If you own an iPhone, you’ll see five options, including Find and lock your iPhone, Try calling your phone, Sign out of your phone, Reach out to your carrier, and Reach out for local help.
Google reports the last time an iPhone was synced, while the Find and lock your iPhone feature merely includes a link to Apple’s iCloud.com from where iPhone owners can locate, lock, or wipe a lost iOS device.
However, the feature does allow users to remotely sign out of their Google account on an iPhone, which will be useful for Gmail and Google Photo users.
The same five options are available for Android devices, but Android owners can set a lockscreen password if they hadn’t done so already, as well as write a note to send to the phone, such as, “This phone is lost. Please help give it back.” Users can also call the phone from the page as well as locate and erase the device.
Google rolled out a search option for finding lost Androids recently, which worked as long as the device had the Google App and certain settings enabled.
While Google’s Find my Phone feature doesn’t directly help iPhone users locate and wipe lost devices, it nonetheless could make starting the search easier. For example, iPhone owners may forget that iCloud.com is where to locate an iPhone from a desktop. And really the update to My Account is all about making it easier for Google’s users to find its privacy settings hub.
Google is also adding a voice option in the Google app for accessing My Account. In the latest version of the app, users can access the page by saying, “OK Google, show me my Google account.” This option is currently available in English but will be coming to other languages soon, according to Google.
Also, Google will soon start presenting a shortcut to My Account if a person searches their own name on Google.