This may be a stupid question but I tried to find my phone earlier by logging into Smart things on my PC and could not find my phone through it.
I don’t know anything about it personally, but from the docs it looks like it only works on some models (those with Ultra Wideband chips) and, yes, there have to be two compatible Samsung devices so they can communicate with each other.
Like Tile and other finder devices, it can rely on a stranger’s phone to find yours as long as both are signed up for the service. When the stranger’s phone passes close to your device it will anonymously update the service with the location of your device. That’s helpful if you lost your device while you were out running, but useless if you lost it someplace at home and you only have one compatible device.
If you have a friend with a compatible device who has also signed up for the service, you could borrow that device for a few minutes and just walk around your house with it to see if it can locate your lost item. The location update will be sent to your account, not theirs, and you don’t have to be logged into their device. But both devices do have to be turned on.
That’s all I can tell from the docs. I hope you find your device soon.
You can still use Find My Mobile just like you always did, so that might be more helpful. It looks like the new service is more for finding watches and earbuds that don’t already report location.
So what were you doing on the PC to find your phone, and is the phone a Samsung device with Find My Mobile enabled?
SmartThings Find can do some fancier things in the right countries with the right phones, but the basis of it is Find My Mobile.
It’s interesting, it’s actually a different technology.
Find my mobile is a typical GPS locator. So the missing device, including a phone, has to have cellular service turned on or it doesn’t work. The reports are sent to your account, so you can sign in on another device and at least get the last known location of your mobile.
“Smartthings find“ In contrast uses Bluetooth and UWB. It doesn’t have to be on the cellular network, but it does have to be powered on. At that point, another device signed up for the same service can locate it at close range, about 10 m for Bluetooth and maybe 200 m for UWB. And it’s a more precise location than the GPS location. Also it works better indoors.
The finder device then sends the information to the Samsung account in the cloud. The person with the finder device may not even be aware that this happened, and they don’t have direct access to the information. So again you can use a computer and sign into your account and you should be able to see the most recent location information regardless of the device that did the finding.
So the second part, which they call “community finding“ is very different from how “find my mobile“ works. But it’s very similar to some devices like Tile and other Bluetooth locator tags.
However, the “smartthings find“ Service depends on both the finder device and the lost device having UWB chips, and there just aren’t very many models that have those yet. Plus both have to be signed up for the Find service.
It may be the only way to find, say, a lost pair of earbuds, but for now I think “find my mobile” is still going to work better for phones. That’s based on the phone’s own reporting of its location, so you don’t have to have a second device, just a way of signing into your account.
SmartThings Find isn’t quite as you describe. Yes it has, or will have, the ability to find watches and buds and things, and yes it will have the ‘community locating’ stuff. I don’t have any of the toys to try that out, if indeed that functionality has been rolled out to the UK yet, so I’ve no idea what that will look like. However it is also the nearest thing there is to a mobile app front end for Find My Mobile, so what you see on the SmartThings app dashboard is is a map with the GPS location of your phone, which you can click on to get a full screen app.
It isn’t a perfect front end to it. For example it doesn’t understand phones that that have been added to your account in guardian mode (same sort of idea as the guest access in Google’s Find My Device) so although it knows there are three phones added to my account it can’t do anything with the two that aren’t owned by me.
Thank you that answers my question nicely. Sucks that I would have to use someone else’s device to use this feature as it seems like only a select number of people will have a samsung that is compatible with it.
If you are looking for a phone, you can use the “Find My mobile“ without needing to have a second compatible device. Because the phone sends its own location updates.
It’s when you are looking for a device which doesn’t do location updates, like earbuds, that the “smartthings find” will be really useful.
I’ll try that thanks.