Google AirTag Alternative: News and Expected Price, Release Date, Specs; and More Rumors

Google's AirTag-like location tracking device is expected for Fall 2023. It could help you find your lost keys, bags, and other personal items

A Bluetooth tracker from Google is rumored to be in the works. Similar to an Apple AirTag, but compatible with Android, this tracker will pair with your phone and leverage the billions of Android devices around the world to locate lost items. We don't know much right now except that it's codenamed Grogu, will support UWB, and includes speakers.

When Will the Google AirTag Tracker Be Released?

There isn't an official release date just yet because Google hasn't even announced the product. In fact, the first mention of it was just this past January. The only details we have come from developer and serial leaker, Kuba Wojciechowski, who estimates a Fall 2023 launch.

A name hasn't been provided yet, but we can see Google using words like Pixel, tag, or tracker, for something like Pixel Tag or Google Tracker.

Lifewire's Release Date Estimate

We'll stick to Kuba's guess that we'll hear an announcement at Google I/O 2023, followed by its launch alongside the Pixel 8.

Google Tracker Price Rumors

We think this will be listed for anywhere from $29 to $39. Similar products like Apple's AirTag, Life360's Tile, and Samsung's SmartTag fall within that range, so it makes sense for Google to follow that trend.

Pre-Order Information

It will most likely be available from the Google Store whenever it's announced.

How Google Tracker Might Work

A location tracker like this can be used to, well...track stuff. They're small enough that they can attach to or fit inside most of our personal items. If you have a habit of losing your purse, wallet, keys, bags, etc., attaching a tracker to those items lets you find them using your phone or tablet.

While most devices can be located via GPS, trackers like this need to be small, and they need to use as little power as possible to avoid having to frequently charge them or replace their batteries. The current solution is short-range wireless communication, like ultra-wideband (UWB) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It's how Apple AirTags work, and Kuba says Google's tracker looks to support the same radio technology.

Where a tracker like this is really useful is when it's too far for you to find it with your own phone. Apple's tracker uses the Find My network, which consists of hundreds of millions of devices, to anonymously send location data back to you to explain where your tracker, and thus the device it's attached to, is located.

Tile is similar, and it's no doubt how Google's trackers will work. They will, however, rely on a different, Android-powered network, possibly via their existing Find My Device app. Since there are already billions of active Android devices around the world, Google needs to build a central 'finder' network that all those devices can report to when a tracker is nearby.

Per Kuba's report, the 'Pixel Tag' looks to have an onboard speaker that will help pinpoint its location. When you're close to the tracker, but you're still not sure where it's at, triggering a beep will help you with the last bit of searching.

Google AirTag Tracker Features & Hardware

There's so very little information to go off right now, but here's what we think:

  • Location sharing: In other words, giving the tracker's location data to other people, either temporarily or permanently. For example, if you and your son have your own set of trackers tied to your respective Google accounts, you'd be able to share the whereabouts of your luggage with him but keep your other trackers private.
  • Tracker limit: Apple has a limit of 16 AirTags per Apple ID, which sounds reasonable for most people and will hopefully be matched, if not exceeded, by Google's tracker.
  • Form factors: We'd like to see different form factors that make sense for the item you're keeping tabs on. Following Tile's approach would be smart. They provide trackers that look like credit cards and stickers for easy placement.
  • Colors: There's no word yet on color variations, but Kuba says there should be a few options. Google might follow Apple's lead and offer a single base tracker but then sell various colored key rings to accessorize them.

The Latest News About the Google AirTag Alternative

You can get more tech news from Lifewire, but here are other related stories and some rumors we've found about the Google tracker specifically:

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