Google plans AirTag clone, will track devices with 3 billion Android phones

Enlarge / Apple launched AirTags alongside a number of totally different sorts of equipment to reinforce their aptitude and attach-ability.


Following within the footsteps of Tile, Apple, and Samsung, it feels like Google will be the newest Big-Tech firm to make a Bluetooth tracker. Android researcher Kuba Wojciechowski has noticed code for a Google first-party Bluetooth tracker codenamed—simply in time for The Mandalorian season 3—”Grogu.”

Wojciechowski has discovered references that verify nearly each main field you’ll need in a Bluetooth tracker. It has a speaker, UWB compatibility, and helps Bluetooth LE. Wojciechowski additionally notes it is being constructed by the Nest workforce. If you don’t need the tracker to play a ringtone to disclose its location, UWB or “Ultra Wide Band” is a radio expertise that may bodily find an merchandise. You’ll want UWB to be constructed into your telephone, nevertheless it will allow you to discover a close by machine through a compass-like interface. UWB has been constructed into the Pixel 6 Pro, 7 Pro, and different high-end Android devices, though it is not used for a lot.

Another fascinating wrinkle is that Esper’s (*3*)Mishaal Rahman lately posted a couple of “locator tag” choice touchdown in Google’s Fast Pair developer console. Fast Pair is Google’s API for shortly detecting and pairing to close by Bluetooth devices—it exhibits a pop-up on the display reasonably than making folks dig by the settings menu. Google’s Fast Pair developer console is for third-party devices, although, so seeing a “locator tag” class pop up similtaneously Grogu could be an awfully massive coincidence. It means that Google is planning to construct a Bluetooth tracker ecosystem for Grogu and let third-party {hardware} be part of the celebration. Why else wouldn’t it add Bluetooth tracker emulation choices to its public developer instruments? Google handles the Fast Pair performance for the host OS (Android), so the dev console is just for third-party Bluetooth devices.

Tile Bluetooth trackers are an effective way to search out automobile keys, baggage, and no matter else you incessantly lose. Tile has been round for 10 years now, nevertheless it wasn’t till Apple cloned the concept with AirTags that the concept took off with Big Tech firms. Since then, Samsung and now apparently Google have determined to leap into the market. Unlike Samsung, Tile, and different non-Apple rivals, Google has a secret weapon that would shortly make it the No. 1 or 2 Bluetooth tracker merchandise available on the market.

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