Android 15 may not let you completely turn your Bluetooth off

As reported today, Google is about to take the wraps off of its long-awaited “Find My Device” network. However, there is one side effect to this that will likely affect the way you use your Android device from now on: Bluetooth can only be paused and not completely turned off.

As the “Find My Device” network is set to go live within the next few days — making phones, headphones, or even devices with other Bluetooth-enabled trackers easier to find — so is the way that Bluetooth in general with work in the next version of Android.

The operative word here is “Bluetooth.”  Billions of Android devices that opt into the network will silently communicate with each other, creating a massive web of location tracking. Each participating phone or tablet will send out a kind of encrypted location beacon, which nearby devices receive and pass on to Google. Only the owner of the ‘lost’ device will then be able to see where it is.

But, there is one catch: Bluetooth has to be turned on for all this to work properly. As spotted by Mishaal Rahman (via Android Authority) through an APK teardown, Google is working on a solution in Android 15 that lets you effectively hit “pause” on Bluetooth instead of turning it fully off. This is likely because of battery life concerns if Bluetooth is constantly on and pinging your location.

Image Credit: Android Authority

The feature is reportedly called “Bluetooth auto-on.” Basically, if you try to turn off Bluetooth, it’ll offer to pop itself back on the next day. This keeps features like “Find My Device” working but lets you conserve battery during the hours you need it. This seems like a reasonable trade-off.

Let’s keep in mind, though, that digging into preview code isn’t a guarantee these features will see the light of day. Also, some devices just might not support the auto-toggle Bluetooth feature. We’ll have to wait for the official Android 15 release to know for sure, but it’s a sign that Google’s taking the privacy and battery life concerns around “Find My Device” seriously.

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