Apple could develop an AirTag detector for NFC-enabled Android smartphones
Just when we thought we could direct our attention to addressing the expensive accessory problem for AirTags, Apple has stolen the spotlight again with a fresh announcement. The company is reportedly planning to make AirTag detection possible for Android devices. The development could keep Android users safer, although that raises a few questions about the invasive nature of trackers. Here are more details.
Duration after which you're notified of carrying unrecognized AirTag slashed
For starters, Apple has issued a firmware update for AirTags so Apple users are notified at a random time between 8 and 24 hours if another person's AirTag is traveling with you. Until now, one was notified only after 72 hours. The update intends to allay privacy concerns that bad actors could conceal an AirTag in your belonging(s) and track your every move.
Android app will enable NFC-based detection of unidentified nearby AirTag
Additionally, 9to5Mac reported that Apple will develop an AirTag detector app for Android so even Android users can get to know if they are carrying another person's AirTag and enjoy the aforementioned privacy-centric fix. The app will also allow NFC-enabled Android devices to view AirTag owner information in case they find a lost AirTag, just by bringing the phone close to the object tracker.
Will people install apps to ensure they aren't being tracked?
However, it's rather unrealistic to expect over 2 billion Android users to install an app to be alerted in the rare event that they're being tracked using an AirTag or any other object tracker. Moreover, a vast majority of value-centric Android devices aren't NFC-enabled. Also, with the plethora of object trackers hitting store shelves, there needs to be a better way of ensuring privacy.
Anti-tracking features shouldn't mandate app installation, can be developed collaboratively
Well, 9to5Mac suggested that instead of installing an app from every object tracker manufacturer, Apple and Google should join hands in the interest of user safety and privacy so a common system can be co-developed. We believe the system should ideally be built into Android and iOS from the get-go, but a privacy-centric application component shared by all tracker manufacturers should do the trick.