Apple releases Tracker Detect Android app to scan for AirTags

Apple already alerts people if unknown AirTags are following them on iPhones running iOS 14.5 or later.

Apple launched the AirTags for iPhones and other devices as a mesh network, giving better tracking ability than most competitors. (Reuters)
Apple launched the AirTags for iPhones and other devices as a mesh network, giving better tracking ability than most competitors. (Reuters)

Apple has launched a new Tracker Detect app on the Google Play Store that can be used to scan for AirTags and other devices using its “Find My” network.

Apple launched the AirTags for iPhones and other devices as a mesh network, giving better tracking ability than most competitors. However, the network faces a huge downside that Apple hasn’t addressed: someone can slip an AirTag into personal items to keep a track of the location. In June, Apple said it would try to fix this issue and part of the solution has now arrived in the form of Tracker Detect.

Also Read | Thieves using Apple AirTags to steal cars, police issues advisory

Tracker Detect cannot be used to set up or manage AirTags. The app description reads: “Tracker Detect looks for item trackers that are separated from their owner and that are compatible with Apple’s Find My network.”

“These item trackers include AirTag and compatible devices from other companies. If you think someone is using AirTag or another device to track your location, you can scan to try to find it.”

The app doesn’t have any background scanning ability. This means the only way to ensure no one is using AirTags against a user is to periodically open the app and let it scan for devices.

Apple already alerts people if unknown AirTags are following them, but the functionality was only made available for persons with iPhones running iOS 14.5 or later. This app adds the same functionality to Android, but without background scanning.

Apple launched the AirTag tracking device earlier this year to locate any objects it is placed upon. The device has gained popularity as it helps locate lost or stolen items.

Also Read | Apple launches AirTag iPhone accessory to help locate lost items: Feature set, price, other details

However, it has recently emerged that thieves are exploiting the tracking features to steal cars from driveways. Recently, the York Police released a statement as cases involving AirTags in stolen cars have spiked in the past few months.

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