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

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.

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

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.

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
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.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. anonymous said on January 18, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    Google creating a tracking device…
    Who would’ve thought it?

    1. Anonymous said on January 18, 2023 at 10:29 pm

      Smart phones are always tracked no matter who sells them or makes the software. Car keys are normally close to the tracked phone. The problem is getting something to make a noise when you can’t find something. Adding a tracked gadget won’t tell Google much more. Name your dog or cat’s tag ‘suitcase’ if you are paranoid about it.

  2. yanta said on January 18, 2023 at 10:45 pm

    And who would be crazy enough to buy?.. Oh wait, millions, if not billions of people will see them as the greatest invention since sliced bread. We really have lost our way.

  3. Tachy said on January 19, 2023 at 12:52 am

    Now Android users can be technostalkers too!

  4. John G. said on January 19, 2023 at 2:40 am

    We are humans worlwide. Following the theory of higher numbers, the best way to bright in the dark is trying to hide yourself. In a world where everything is tracked, the best option is not disable telemetry, and just use the most used tools, Google, Windows, Chrome and so forth. Nobody will see you, like nobody won’t see a candle’s light in a burning home. So sad but so true.

    1. Rush said on January 19, 2023 at 3:38 am

      @John G.

      At first, I thought your logic was somewhat off-beat….at second glance, it’s very sound logic, actually.

    2. fred said on January 19, 2023 at 5:24 am

      @John G you are spot on there

    3. Tachy said on January 19, 2023 at 5:33 am

      Totally wrong

      Ask the infamous mafia boss who hid in plain sight for 30 years by not using any technology but who was finally captured due to the technology use of those associated with him.

      1. John G. said on January 19, 2023 at 3:23 pm

        @Tachy, I meant for example that if there are 500 Citroën in your city, the uncommon driver that everyone will see is the Ferrari’s one. Obvious the complete alternative is not using digital technology and always pay with cash. And live in a hole. Not so easy, indeed.

      2. Anonymous said on January 19, 2023 at 8:23 pm

        Are you saying John G is a Mafia boss? Privacy is not the same as evasion of the law.

  5. ilev said on January 19, 2023 at 10:43 am

    “to compete with Apple”


    To compete with other Android Tags like Tile, Samsung Tags… not Apple.

  6. Sains Data said on January 20, 2023 at 11:29 am

    has it now been created?

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