Google is making it harder for people to plant Apple AirTags on others surreptitiously.
The company has started rolling out unknown tracker alerts, according to TechCrunch — a feature that allows users to manually scan for trackers with their Android device, which will inform them if a tracker is present and guide them through the next steps. TomsGuide reports that the tracker can also work automatically (as it does on iOS devices). Your Android will be able to automatically detect when an unknown tracker is traveling with you and, if you click the notification, it will show you a map of where the tracker is so you can find it. Right now, this feature only works on Apple AirTags, but Google plans to expand its capability.
“Bluetooth trackers have created tremendous user benefits but also bring the potential of unwanted tracking, which requires industry-wide action to solve,” Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of engineering for Android, said in a press release when unknown tracker alerts were first announced. “Android has an unwavering commitment to protecting users and will continue to develop strong safeguards and collaborate with the industry to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth tracking devices.”
The feature was announced in May, in an unexpected alliance between Apple and Google — two companies that typically do not work together. Before this rollout, Android users didn’t get real-time alerts of people keeping track of their location in secret, unlike Apple owners — but, now, this feature could create a new industry standard to ensure people know when a tracker is following them.
This appears to be pretty excellent news for us — but would have been terrible for Obi-Wan’s trip to Geonosis.