Apple Airtag equivalent for Android?

JEDI

Lifer
Sep 25, 2001
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You can track an Apple Airtag worldwide but it doesnt work with Android phones.

I'm looking only to track my luggage if it's lost by airline.

Is there an Android equivalent that doesn't charge a monthly subscription fee?
(I have a moto Phone)
 
Last edited:

MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
19,887
18,339
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There were strong rumors that Google is working on their own sort of 'tile' that would also incorporate NFC. Who knows it could be announced at the Pixel 8 launch, but if not, it won't be until next spring at their next big launch event.
 

manly

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
10,339
1,562
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Tile's network is puny compared to Apple's Find My, so it's relevant only in dense urban cores like NYC or SF. I believe the newest Tiles have a QR code on them, so if someone finds your tracked item, that could be a successful road to recovery.

You can forget about putting a Tile in your luggage and expecting it to be located globally.
 

MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
19,887
18,339
136
Tile's network is puny compared to Apple's Find My, so it's relevant only in dense urban cores like NYC or SF. I believe the newest Tiles have a QR code on them, so if someone finds your tracked item, that could be a successful road to recovery.

You can forget about putting a Tile in your luggage and expecting it to be located globally.

You'd have better luck globally with a tile than the airtag, though not in the US. iPhone ownership is much lower overseas, it's the US where they dominate. In Europe it is something like 62% Android, 32% iPhone in 2022. It's much bigger in other parts of the world. In South America it is over 80% Android. India iphone has like 5% penetration. Africa it's not far off South America, more in Android's favor. Japan is an outlier for iPhone.


You were saying about globally?
 

manly

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
10,339
1,562
126
You'd have better luck globally with a tile than the airtag, though not in the US. iPhone ownership is much lower overseas, it's the US where they dominate. In Europe it is something like 62% Android, 32% iPhone in 2022. It's much bigger in other parts of the world. In South America it is over 80% Android. India iphone has like 5% penetration. Africa it's not far off South America, more in Android's favor. Japan is an outlier for iPhone.


You were saying about globally?
You won't get much luck with Tile overseas. We aren't comparing iPhoneOS to Android. We're comparing Find My to Tile. Although population density tends to be higher (more clustered) in Europe, I doubt many consumers there have even heard of Tile over there, much less actually own one.

What you're missing is that the typical Tile tracker (they do have one UWB model) just isn't going to be picked up in random locations (such as on the tarmac, or while moving through baggage systems). Honestly I don't think it was by design, but this is something that AirTags do fairly well whenever they are in proximity to random iPhones (because of ubiquity). Obviously you're right that the Find My network isn't going to be robust in poorer countries where Android dominates. But you won't find Tiles there either.

I've bought a couple Tiles before; they aren't bad for what they are. Their problem is that Apple's walled garden is anti-competitive. If Find My or iMessage was device/vendor agnostic, Apple wouldn't have the lock-in that they enjoy so much.

I believe you hang out in NYC a lot, so your experience with Tile is going to be better than most. The OP asked specifically about lost luggage tracking, and there are also some A-GPS based trackers available, and they aren't expensive. Some of the review sites actually like Tile Pro for luggage tracking, but they are describing a different scenario. If the tracker is still within range (max 400 ft) of YOUR Android phone, you can hopefully locate it. If the airline mis-routed your luggage, that won't help you unless the tracker is picked up by a stranger's Tile app.

If and when Google releases an AirTag equivalent, that will be a very big network like Apple Find My.
 

MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
19,887
18,339
136
You won't get much luck with Tile overseas. We aren't comparing iPhoneOS to Android. We're comparing Find My to Tile. Although population density tends to be higher (more clustered) in Europe, I doubt many consumers there have even heard of Tile over there, much less actually own one.

What you're missing is that the typical Tile tracker (they do have one UWB model) just isn't going to be picked up in random locations (such as on the tarmac, or while moving through baggage systems). Honestly I don't think it was by design, but this is something that AirTags do fairly well whenever they are in proximity to random iPhones (because of ubiquity). Obviously you're right that the Find My network isn't going to be robust in poorer countries where Android dominates. But you won't find Tiles there either.

I've bought a couple Tiles before; they aren't bad for what they are. Their problem is that Apple's walled garden is anti-competitive. If Find My or iMessage was device/vendor agnostic, Apple wouldn't have the lock-in that they enjoy so much.

I believe you hang out in NYC a lot, so your experience with Tile is going to be better than most. The OP asked specifically about lost luggage tracking, and there are also some A-GPS based trackers available, and they aren't expensive. Some of the review sites actually like Tile Pro for luggage tracking, but they are describing a different scenario. If the tracker is still within range (max 400 ft) of YOUR Android phone, you can hopefully locate it. If the airline mis-routed your luggage, that won't help you unless the tracker is picked up by a stranger's Tile app.

If and when Google releases an AirTag equivalent, that will be a very big network like Apple Find My.

The airtag works better because it uses NFC, whereas Tile does not. Also if you do have an android phone, airtags are useless, as you point out since Apple is about anti-competitiveness, there is no airtag app for android phones, just like there is no AppleTV app and how they have locked down fundamental forms of communication like messaging behind their walled garden. The google airtag version has leaked as also having NFC. They'd be stupid to not announce it tomorrow, and with an iOS compatible app.

The opp has an android phone, so why would an airtag be better for him? It simply doesn't work.
 

manly

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
10,339
1,562
126
The airtag works better because it uses NFC, whereas Tile does not. Also if you do have an android phone, airtags are useless, as you point out since Apple is about anti-competitiveness, there is no airtag app for android phones, just like there is no AppleTV app and how they have locked down fundamental forms of communication like messaging behind their walled garden. The google airtag version has leaked as also having NFC. They'd be stupid to not announce it tomorrow, and with an iOS compatible app.

The opp has an android phone, so why would an airtag be better for him? It simply doesn't work.
I'm not recommending an AirTag for the OP. I'm saying a Tile does not solve the use case he presented (airline loses your luggage). There are GPS luggage trackers on Amazon that he can consider.

The newest Tile Pro also has UWB, so it's not the hardware that's the limitation. The Find My network is massive, particularly in the U.S. As a consumer who votes with their wallet, I'm not particularly pro-Apple these days. I'm explaining why the Tile network cannot compete with Find My if your goal is to track your luggage as it's moving around internationally.

My initial reply never even mentioned AirTag.
 

MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
19,887
18,339
136
no google airtag release today. I really don't know what their hardware department is doing sometimes.