learn to track

Apple and Android Phones to Alert Users of Tracking Devices

TLDR: Apple and Android phones to alert users of tracking devices through cross-platform collaboration. Industry leaders support the effort to ensure privacy and safety.

Your phone will now notify you if someone slips a tracking device onto you, regardless of whether you use an Apple or Android device.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

Apple devices have long alerted users about nearby Air Tags or similar Apple Bluetooth devices. Android phones have been able to detect unknown Bluetooth devices, including Air Tags, since at least July. A new update enables full cross-functionality between devices from either manufacturer.

The feature, which sends an “[Item] Found Moving With You” alert to the user, will roll out to devices running iOS 17.5 and Android 6.0+.

Industrywide Effort

According to the Associated Press, Google and Apple have been collaborating on this capability since last year. Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of Engineering for Android, emphasized the need for industrywide action to address the potential for unwanted tracking.

The effort has garnered support from Samsung, the largest Android phone manufacturer, and Bluetooth tag makers like Chipolo, eufy, Jio, Motorola, and Pebblebee. They have all committed to ensuring their products are compatible with the alert features of both operating systems.

Privacy and Safety Protections

Apple stated that AirTag and third-party Find My network accessories were designed from the start with industry-first privacy and safety protections. The company remains committed to innovating and enhancing these protections to ensure consumer safety.

This cross-platform collaboration, also an industry first, provides instructions and best practices for manufacturers who choose to incorporate unwanted tracking alert capabilities into their products.

Legal Challenges

Apple currently faces a class-action lawsuit, filed in December 2022, alleging insufficient efforts to prevent stalkers from misusing its devices. Although Apple denied the allegations and sought to dismiss the case, a judge ruled in March that the case will proceed.

The new cross-platform tracking alerts demonstrate a proactive step towards addressing these concerns and ensuring user safety across both Apple and Android devices.


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