It was only a matter of time until Google launched its own location tracker, similar to Apple’s AirTags, Samsung’s SmartTag, and of course, Tile. According to the developer (and well-sourced leaker) Kuba Wojciechowski, Google’s Nest team is developing a tracker codenamed “Grogu.” It’ll reportedly include an onboard speaker, as well as support for Bluetooth Low Energy and ultra-wideband (UWB). Wojciechowski found evidence of the tracker when he noticed that Google added support for locator tags in the developer hub for Fast Pair, the Android feature that lets you quickly connect Bluetooth devices.
While there aren’t any specific details at this point, we can expect Google’s tracker to work like the competition (attach it to whatever you like, and keep tabs on its location with your phone). It’s also unclear if Google can replicate Apple’s admittedly slick AirTag experience. Wojciechowski says that the Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro both shipped with UWB modules, which would allow them to direct you to nearby objects acccurately. But he notes that Google’s “finder” network won’t require UWB — BLE should be enough.
I have recently found references that show that Google’s working on support for locator tags in Fast Pair – see the linked thread for more info. https://t.co/8tvlWaHQpv
Now it turns out Google’s working on a first party tracker too!
— Kuba Wojciechowski⚡ (@Za_Raczke) January 16, 2023
While Google can’t guarantee that every Android phone will ship with UWB, Wojciechowski says Google is working with chipset makers to help them support Fast Pair. That means we could see third-party trackers rounding out the location network, something it’s hard to imagine Apple ever allowing. As for availability, Wojciechowski didn’t find any specific timing, but he notes that it could be announced at I/O this year. That makes sense, as Google is already far behind the location tracking competition.
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