Samsung is rolling out a service to help Galaxy gadget owners find their gear when it goes missing. Called SmartThings Find, the feature extends the capabilities of Samsung’s Find My Mobile app by letting users locate not only their Samsung smartphones, but also any Galaxy brand tablets, smartwatches, and earbuds they also own.
SmartThings Find previously launched as a trial in the US, UK, and South Korea last month, but Samsung says the feature is now “ready for a global launch” (while also noting that access “may vary by market and carrier”).
Those uncertainties aside, we know SmartThings Find uses a combination Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and ultra-wideband (UWB) services to locate devices, and is available on hardware running Android 8 or later. Once users register for the service, they’ll be able to use SmartThings Find to track down Galaxy gadgets even when they’re not connected to any mobile network. (Though Samsung does not say explicitly whether the service works with devices that are powered off.)
The SmartThings Find app will show users the location of their devices on a map, just the same as similar services like Apple’s Find My software. Once the user is near enough, they can then command their device to “ring” to help locate it, or use an augmented reality feature that Samsung says “displays color graphics that increase in intensity when you are getting closer to your device.”
Samsung says the service is available worldwide from this week as an update for Galaxy smartphones and tablets that are running Android 8 or later. Right now, the service is limited to Galaxy devices, but Samsung says from “early next year” SmartThings Find will also be able to locate any “tracking tags” — presumably referring to the company’s SmartThings LTE Trackers, which it launched in 2018. That will expand the service’s ability to hunt down any item or object you’ve attached a tag to.