Android Unknown AirTag Alerts Rollout, Find My Network Delayed
Android users can now enjoy enhanced security with the rollout of unknown tracker alerts, a feature announced at I/O 2023. This feature is designed to protect users from unwanted Bluetooth tracking and is available to Android 6.0+ users.
The new feature offers three key protections. Firstly, it provides automatic alerts for unknown trackers. If an unknown Bluetooth tracker is separated from its owner and is detected to be travelling with you, you will receive a notification on your compatible Android device. The alert includes information about the tracker and a map of where it was seen travelling with you. Currently, this feature works with Apple AirTags, with plans to expand to other tracking tags over time.
Secondly, the feature allows users to take action on an unknown tracker alert. Users can learn more about the unknown Bluetooth tracker and get tips on how to respond. Some Bluetooth trackers may share their serial number or additional information about the owner of the device when brought near the back of your phone. Users can also learn how to physically disable the Bluetooth tracker, preventing the owner from receiving future location updates from the tracker.
Lastly, the feature includes a manual scan option, allowing users to check their surroundings for trackers without waiting for an alert. Users can go to Settings → Safety & emergency → Unknown tracker alerts and tap the “Scan Now” button to see a list of trackers that are currently near them and separated from their owner’s device.
However, the rollout of the new Find My Device network, which was announced at I/O 2023 and set to launch this summer, has been delayed. The network is designed to help users locate missing belongings like headphones, phones, and other everyday items using a range of new third-party Bluetooth tracker tags.
Android has decided to hold the rollout of the Find My Device network until Apple has implemented protections for iOS. This decision underscores Android’s commitment to user safety and the prevention of unwanted location tracking. Android is working in partnership with Apple to finalize the joint unwanted tracker alert specification by the end of this year.