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Gadgets & Tech

Google AirTags: why the incoming Apple rivals could take over the world

Apple’s AirTags might be the world’s most famous Bluetooth trackers, but they could soon have some Google rivals that connect to a huge Android equivalent of Apple’s ‘Find My’ network. If that does materialize, it could be an incredibly powerful new way for Android fans to find lost possessions.

Google’s rumored AirTag rival – apparently codenamed Grogu, in a nod to fans of The Mandalorian – has been tipped for an announcement at Google I/O 2023, which kicks off on May 10. While the trackers may not arrive on shelves until later, it means Android users could soon see some rivals to the Tile Pro and Samsung Galaxy SmartTag Plus, along with a global object-finding network.

But does the world really need more location trackers? After all, these little key fob-sized gadgets have courted as much controversy as they have praise. The Apple AirTag continues to hit the headlines despite anti-stalking firmware updates, while Tile also recently rolled out a controversial Anti-Theft Mode of its own.

The Tile Pro (above) is an existing Android-compatible Bluetooth tracker. (Image credit: Tile)

Despite these issues, there is evidence that Google has been laying the groundwork for both its own AirTag rival and an equivalent of Apple’s ‘Find My’ system. The benefit of these systems (and the main source of their controversy) is that they can detect lost objects by using nearby phones, even when your misplaced valuable is offline. If that does come to billions of Android devices, potentially as part of Android 14, it could be a huge feature that takes Bluetooth trackers to a new level.

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