Apple's new app helps Android users detect unwanted AirTag tracking
Apple has just released an Android app called Tracker Detect, making good on its promise to extend the ability to recognize nearby AirTags and Find My trackers to Android users so they can know if they are being accidentally monitored.
Apple launched the app in the Google Play store on Monday, telling users to use it to "scan and try to find" nearby AirTags or other location-tracking devices that are compatible with Apple's Find Me network. If that sounds paranoid, it's not: Although Apple claims it has implemented several safeguards to curb its potential for abuse, AirTags are small enough and diffuse enough to be installed on a variety of personal items, including keys, wallets, and even cars. While their original purpose is to help users find their items attached to them if they get lost, AirTags have some users and privacy advocates spooked about what might happen if they fall into the wrong hands (in this case, the main meaning of stalkers, domestic abuse, or violent people).
airbags are not only easy to abuse, but they are also cheap: $29 for one, or $99 for four. Apple's Find My network currently has more than 1 billion active iPhones, more than any other device tracking service, and combined with their growing popularity, disaster could ensue.
The tracker app works by identifying nearby AirTags that may be separated from the owner, which are labeled "unknown AirTags" on the Find Me map. Within 10 minutes of identifying a stray tracker, the app will sound a bell to alert the user to an unclaimed device nearby. Once the tracker is identified, the app provides users with instructions on how to remove the battery and advises them to contact law enforcement if they believe their safety is at risk.