For once, Android is playing catch-up with Apple.
According to developer and Android leaker Kuba Wojciechowski, Google is working on its own alternative to AirTags, Apple’s first-party location-tracking gadget that can be attached to objects to help you find them should they ever get lost. The project, codenamed “Grogu” (after the popular character in The Mandalorian), could potentially launch alongside new Pixel phones this fall.
Wojciechowski reported all of this after finding references to locator tags in Fast Pair, Google’s Android software that makes it easy to pair things like wireless earbuds to Android devices in a jiffy. Grogu is apparently being developed by the Nest team (responsible for Google’s line of smart home products), but it may not be a Nest product if and when it eventually comes out.
Like AirTags, Grogu supposedly has a little speaker on the device to help you find whatever you’ve lost. Wojciechowski also said Google’s tags may use both Bluetooth and ultra-wideband (or UWB) technology to help you track items. Both of the Pixel 7 phones have UWB capabilities, which would allow for more precise tracking than Bluetooth. Google hasn’t really found a great use case for UWB yet, so this could be a nifty debut for that feature.
Keep an eye out for Google’s annual I/O conference in May. That may be our first glimpse at Grogu.