Though Bluetooth trackers have been in the market for quite some time now, the launch of AirTags popularized these trackers ten folds. Trackers have had a very niche audience and very little software support, until Apple showed the market how these tags can be utilised to their full potential through Find My network.
AirTags are able to communicate with nearby iPhones to report their location back to their owners, creating a network so massive that the tracking numbers are accurate to a tee. Android still doesn’t have system-level tracker support, but some evidence uncovered in a new app suggests that this could change soon. 9To5Google found some strings in the Google Play Services (22.12.13) update that include the mention of “unfamiliar device alerts”, which could indicate “detecting unknown tags nearby”.
The app also references three different types of tags—”ATag” (maybe short for Apple AirTags), “Tile tag”, and “Finder tag.” Once these changes are fully made, the tracking options could pop up in Google’s Safety & Emergency panel in the Settings app. There is still no word on when these features will be finalised or how they will work. Perhaps Google might make a universal tag tracker or they might even roll out their own product in the market. Nonetheless, this tracking feature is a welcome move that could change the Android tracker scene for good.
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What we do know is that the strings in the App are fairly new. We could see Google drop some hints about this at the Google I/O 2022 which is scheduled to take place virtually from May 11 to 12.