Google reportedly working on AirTag-like location trackers

Google is reportedly working on a location tracking tag to compete with the likes of Apple’s AirTags and Tile trackers, according to developer (and reliable leaker) Kuba Wojciechowski. Wojciechowski discovered references that indicate Google is working on support for locator tags in Fast Pair — Google’s method for quickly pairing nearby Bluetooth devices — and claims in a Twitter thread that Google is developing its own first-party tracker to use with the feature (seen via Sammobile).

The tracker, according to Wojciechowski, is codenamed “Grogu” (the name of the baby Yoda character from the Star Wars series The Mandalorian) alongside the alternate names “GR10” and “Groguaudio,” and is currently being developed by the Google Nest team. That doesn’t mean it’ll launch as a Nest-branded product, but Wojciechowski suggests the tracker might be released in multiple color options and include an onboard speaker to help users locate a missing device via sound, similar to that of an Apple AirTag.

Wojciechowski also claims that the “Grogu” trackers could support Bluetooth LE and ultra-wideband (UWB). Google’s flagship Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro mobile devices both support UWB connectivity, but its application so far has been limited to features like Nearby Share. While UWB offers far greater precision than Bluetooth for locating lost items, providing the ability to show both distance estimations and directions to a tag, Wojciechowski claims that “Even though Google’s tracker most likely has UWB, it’s not a requirement for the “Finder Network” they’re working on — BLE is enough.”

Wojciechowski estimates that Google may announce the product during the Google I/O Developer Conference sometime in May 2023 and that the trackers could be released alongside new Pixel devices during a Google event in the fall.

Source: The Verge

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