After first confirming that it would add native support for AirTag detection and other bluetooth trackers that could be misused, Google also appears to be developing its own alternative to the bluetooth tags already offered by Apple, Samsung or Tile.
The rumor that appeared on Twitter and was picked up on the XDA Developers forum comes from a reputable source, indicating that the device created by the Google Nest team is already in prototype stage, to be taken over by another division and possibly released under another Google brand (e.g. Pixel).
Most likely, the AirTag alternative for Android users will be announced at the Google I/O conference scheduled for May. Unfortunately, aside from being prepared in several color variations and using a Bluetooth location method similar to other solutions already on the market, not many technical details are known. We do learn, however, that future tags support both Bluetooth Low Energy protocol and the ultra-wide band (UWB) alternative, include a speaker that can be triggered remotely and certain features that should prevent misuse.
Presumably the new Google/Pixel tracker will have similar AirTag coverage, with Google and Apple already having negotiated a deal that allows Android phones to be used for AirTag tracking. So it’s plausible that the benefits will be mutual, with Apple opening up the iOS ecosystem for Google-promoted tag location as well.