NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: The Apple logo is seen hanging inside the Apple store on West 66th Street on October 5, 2011 in New York City. Jobs, 56, passed away October 5, 2011 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 and is credited, along with Steve Wozniak, with marketing the world's first personal computer in addition to the popular iPod, iPhone and iPad. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Apple’s Tracker Detect will protect Android users from AirTags stalkers

Apple has published Tracker Detect, a new Android software aimed to enable people without an iOS device figure out if someone is tracking their whereabouts with an AirTag or other Find My-compatible gadget. When the software detects a nearby AirTag that has lost contact with its owner, it marks it as a “Unknown AirTag.” You may use the app to configure the tracker to play a sound after it follows you for 10 minutes, making it easier to find. You can then tap the device with your NFC-enabled phone to receive instructions on how to remove the device’s battery or otherwise disable it.

To use the app, you don’t need an Apple ID. It can also recognize Find My-compatible trackers like the Chipolo One Spot, as previously indicated. “AirTag offers industry-leading privacy and security features, and we’re expanding our Android capabilities today.” According to an Apple spokesman, “Tracker Detect allows Android users to scan for an AirTag or supported Find My enabled item tracker that may be travelling with them without their knowledge.” “For our users and the industry, we’re lifting the standard on privacy, and we hope others will follow.”

Following many incidences of malicious actors utilizing AirTags to stalk people, Tracker Detect was released. For example, authorities in Canada recently issued a warning about thieves employing the $29 device to steal luxury cars. Apple upgraded its trackers in June to play a sound between eight and 24 hours after they’re separated from their user, rather than three days as was the case at launch, in an effort to limit abuse.

The effectiveness of Tracker Detect in protecting people is proportional to the number of people who download it. Unlike iOS, which issues proactive warnings when improper AirTags are detected, you must install this app on your Android device. Its security features aren’t yet included into Android.