Game on! Google rumored to be developing AirTag-like location tracking devices to compete with Apple

Patrick Devaney
Jan 18, 2023
Updated • Jan 18, 2023
Apple, Google
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Apple’s AirTags are a great example of how network effects can give a massive advantage to big tech companies like Apple. In many ways, the Tile trackers were technically more impressive than the AirTags and the multiple form factors available made them more convenient to use. However, the sheer number of Apple devices around the world and the integration of AirTags into the Find My network makes AirTags much more powerful than the Tile solution. In the grand scheme of things then, there could only ever really be one major competitor to Apple in this field then. Step forward Google.

According to reports, Google is developing a location-tracking tag to compete with Apple's AirTags and Tile trackers. The news comes via developer Kuba Wojciechowski who discovered references in Google's Fast Pair feature that seems to indicate support for locator tag-like devices.

Wojciechowski claims that the devices are currently being developed by the Google Nest team and have currently been codenamed “Grogu” in reference to the baby Yoda character Grogu from the Star Wars Mandalorian series. Interestingly, according to the report, the tracker could be released in several different color options and include an onboard speaker that would help users locate a missing device by playing a sound for them to listen to in a similar way to how Apple AirTags do.

Of course, for these Google Tags to truly compete with AirTags, they’re going to need a network that competes with the Apple Find My network for them to access. Google has been working on this augmented network at least since 2021 when the news was broken by XDA. If this work continues and Google is able to launch the network in time for these tags, which is likely the scenario the company is aiming for, the tags will have a network of well over 3 billion devices to access whenever they get lost.

It seems then, that we may have a big tech battle on our hands. On their own, however, these types of products won’t be winning customers to one ecosystem or the other, but they do mark powerful means of keeping people locked in. If Google can make this work, it’ll mean users won’t have to move to Apple to get similar sorts of functionality, and Apple customers who like AirTags will be able to move to Android without having to lose out.

Summary
Game on! Google rumored to be developing AirTag-like location tracking devices to compete with Apple
Article Name
Game on! Google rumored to be developing AirTag-like location tracking devices to compete with Apple
Description
Reports are coming through that Google may be working on a AirTag-like device as well as augmenting its Android Location network for them to work on.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Anonymous said on September 27, 2023 at 12:31 pm
    Reply

    That Google or Apple or any private entity has to gain approval from the state for the associations they have with others is close fo outright fascism.

    It denies the LIBERAL civil liberty of Freedom of Association which includes market associations.

    1. Anonymous said on September 30, 2023 at 2:06 am
      Reply

      “That Google or Apple or any private entity has to gain approval from the state for the associations they have with others is close fo outright fascism.”

      Do you know anything about law and politics in our actual universe, beyond what you read on twitter ?

  2. bruh said on September 27, 2023 at 1:39 pm
    Reply

    Google has the biggest index – and often they have their own special “cached” mode which will let you view a usually decent copy of a non-functional site, even when waybackmachine doesn’t have anything.

    If you’re really trying to find something, sure, give the other browsers a go, but always use Google at some point just to be safe.

  3. Mystique said on September 27, 2023 at 2:36 pm
    Reply

    Article Title: Apple defends Google in a court hearing
    Article URL: https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/27/apple-defends-google/

    Apple has never done anything that did not directly benefit them. It’s not about the privacy or for the users at all. It’s about the money.

    The only key part you need to know is:

    “Eddy Cue also argued that the deal is fair because Google pays Apple billions of dollars each year to be the default search engine on Apple devices.”

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