If you wanted to get a location tag to put on your backpack or luggage, it’s actually a pretty simple dichotomy. You get an AirTag if you use Apple devices, and you get a Samsung SmartTag if you run Android; then there’s also the other options like Tile. However, it looks like Google is set to enter the fight, and is developing a location tag of their own.
First spotted by developer Kuba Wojciechowski and Esper’s Mishaal Rahman, they have apparently found evidence of Google working on ‘locator tags’ as it’s now a device type in the Google Fast Pair developer console. Basically, it seems that we can expect a Bluetooth location tag of sorts that will also support Google’s Fast Pair connection.
The Fast Pair developer console added "Locator tag" as a device type👀— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) January 16, 2023
"Locator tag" likely refers to Bluetooth trackers (think AirTag, Tile) that in this context support Google Fast Pair.
H/T @Za_Raczke pic.twitter.com/HoPX8JMd8Q
Wojciechowski added that the location tag, codenamed ‘Grogu’, ‘Groguaudio’ and ‘GR10’, is currently being developed by the Google Nest team though may not end up being launched under the Google Nest family. It will have an onboard speaker just like an AirTag, as well as support for ultra wideband (UWB) and Bluetooth Low Energy.
Incidentally, the Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro do have UWB modules but they haven’t really done anything with them yet for now. Google is also apparently working with other manufacturers too, allowing other companies to build their own trackers with Google Fast Pair support.
A new location tag option would be pretty cool to see, especially if it builds upon the Fast Pair system that is, while easy to use, remains underutilised by many people. I could totally see Pixel users especially ditching their Samsung SmartTag and Tile tags towards a Google Grogu if and when Google does launch their own location tag.