Apple’s Tracker Detect app makes it easy
AirTags are Apple's answer to discrete tracking devices like the ones we're used to from companies like Tile, but with the added benefit of using basically every modern Apple device to help locate tagged items. Apple being Apple, though, you need an iPhone or iPad to both set up and remotely locate AirTags. While there's no Android tool that lets us actually use Apple's trackers, the company has released a handy Android app called Tracker Detect that can help you know if any are nearby. Here's how it works.
To check for orphaned AirTags in your vicinity, first, download the Tracker Detect app. Open the app, then tap Scan.
If there are no compatible devices in your vicinity, nothing will happen. If your phone finds any, they'll show up in a list. Tap any tracker in this list, and you'll be presented with options to make it play a sound (to help you find it), bring up more information about it, or see how to disable it entirely (which, on an AirTag, means removing the battery).
It's remarkably simple, but there's some nuance to the app. First, only trackers that haven't been identified as near their owners for 15 minutes are visible. This is so you can't see trackers other people are actively using. Also, you'll only be able to make a tracker play a sound if it's been near you for at least 10 minutes — again, so you can't use the app to harass nearby owners of AirTags who may have forgotten their phones at home. Finally, the app can only find trackers using Apple's Find My network; it won't help you spot trackers from, say, Tile or Samsung.
An obvious use case for Tracker Detect is making sure nobody's snuck an AirTag on your person (or in your car, or on your dog) without your knowledge — while iPhones will tell you if someone else's AirTag is hanging out in your vicinity, Android phones have no such feature built in. But there are less serious uses, too: it could also help you, for example, find your Apple-loving friend's lost wallet in your couch cushions.
Most people probably don't need to worry about anyone sticking tracking devices on them Batman-style, but a little protection goes a long way. If you're ever worried someone might be trying to keep tabs on you using AirTags, Tracker Detect is a good resource. It could also come in handy in much more mundane ways for anyone whose friends or family use Apple products. The app is available for free on the Play Store.
Bad controls, horrible optimization, and even worse monetization
Taylor was a phone nerd long before joining Android Police in 2018. He currently carries a Pixel 6 Pro, which he uses mostly to take pictures of his dogs.


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