In May, Apple and Google announced their collaboration on a tool to prevent covert tracking of individuals using AirTags and GPS trackers. Now, the finalized tool has started appearing on Android devices.
Google announced this in an official blog post, noting that the alert features for unknown beacons will work on Android 6.0 and later versions.
In the event of detecting an AirTag or other Bluetooth tracker that has been following a user for some time, the system will send a notification to the owner’s mobile device. Upon opening it, you will be able to see the beacon’s route on the map and even play a sound signal on it.
If the detected tracker has NFC, it can be brought near the back panel of the smartphone to determine its serial number and obtain information about the owner, such as the last four digits of the phone number. If necessary, the beacon can be completely disabled, so its owner will stop receiving information about its movement.
In addition, Google has implemented a manual scanning function that allows the user to scan their surroundings for unknown trackers. You can initiate such a search from the settings: “Security and Emergency” → “Unknown Tracker Alerts” → “Scan Now.”
Currently, this feature only works with AirTags, but developers promise to add support for other trackers, like those from Samsung, in the future. The rollout of this innovation is happening gradually.