Google is developing a new Bluetooth tracking device to take on Apple’s airtag. Ultra-wideband (UWB) connection has been a feature of Google’s premium “Pro” phones since 2021, including the Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro. Although the hardware has only been applied in specialized situations like transmitting data to a buddy or unlocking a luxury automobile, it is evident that Google wants to see UWB utilized more frequently.
Google was developing a new Nest speaker that will support UWB and allow rapid audio transfers by positioning your Pixel close to the speaker. Google has been working hard over the past few years to transform the “Find My Device” app into something that can use millions of Android smartphones to find lost or stolen devices.
In Apple’s ecosystem, one of the best ways to keep track of a device is to attach one of the company’s airtags. When paired with the numerous iPhones already in use, these accessories’ Bluetooth and UWB signals enable pinpointing the location of the devices down to the inch.
Google is apparently working on its monitoring device to compete with Apple AirTags, expand its own “Finder Network,” and maybe make UWB more useful on Pixel phones. Kuba Wojciechowski, an Android researcher and a frequent leaker on all things about Pixel, leaked the information.
The tracker is said to be in development under the codename “Grogu” — a reference to the popular Star Wars series “The Mandalorian” — alongside the alternate names “GR10” and “Groguaudio.” The only additional details that have been public reveal that the Nest team is ostensibly leading the development and that the tracker may come in various colors.
Although Bluetooth trackers have been available for a while, their precision and unexpected popularity have given rise to legitimate worries about whether a tracker has been placed on your property without your permission. To that end, we noted in 2017 that Google was developing “Unfamiliar device warnings,” which would allow your Android phone to alert you to any nearby trackers.
Estimating the debut date or the duration of Google’s first-party tracker development is challenging. Given that the UWB-equipped Nest Audio replacement is presently anticipated to arrive in either the autumn of 2023 or the spring of 2024, it’s feasible that a tracker with comparable UWB compatibility may do the same.