Google working on AirTag rival supported by 3 billion Android phones

Google’s tracking tags could rely on a network of 3 billion Android smartphones, making it the largest tracking network in the world (Getty Images/iStock).

Android researchers say Google is working on a Bluetooth tracker to rival Apple’s AirTag and Samsung’s SmartTag.

Codenamed Grogu, the device features a noisy speaker and ultra-wideband (UWB) radio technology that supports Bluetooth tracking.

UWB technology allows users to physically pinpoint the tracker’s location via a compass-like interface on their phone, with much higher accuracy than Bluetooth. It also means that tracking can be performed silently without the tracker needing to emit an audible sound.

The technology was first discovered by Kuba Wojciechowski, who discovered code for a first-party tracker reportedly being developed by Google’s Nest team.

“It turns out that Google is working on a first party tracker,” said Wojciechowski. murmured In a thread detailing the device.

“Similar to the AirTags, it has speakers.

“We don’t have any information on when the tag will be released, but our guess is that Google will announce the technology at Google I/O and then at its annual fall event, along with the new Google Pixel devices.

The rumored device has received reports that Google is working to incorporate a “find my device” feature into networks that use the Bluetooth capabilities of nearby Android devices.

If implemented, Google could rely on 3 billion active devices worldwide to find lost tags, making it the world’s largest single tracking network.

The December 2022 patch notes were first reported by technical publication Arstechnica, stating that “Find My Device uses a new privacy-centric framework to provide encrypted last known location reporting for Android devices. I now support it,” he said.

Similar to Apple’s anti-stalking feature introduced in AirTags, Google may introduce a system to alert users if their Android device detects tracking devices that mirror their movements.

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