Google and Apple collaborated on a new security feature called “Unknown Tracker Alerts” earlier this year, which can alert users about unauthorized Bluetooth trackers that are traveling with them. While Bluetooth trackers like AirTags and Tiles are frequently used to locate lost or stolen objects, numerous people have also used them to perpetrate crimes like premeditated car theft and stalk other people.
The Unknown Tracker Alerts function, which is accessible on devices running Android 6 Marshmellow or later, notifies users if it discovers a Bluetooth tracker that does not belong to them is traveling with them. If you click on the notification, you can view the location on a map and see when the tracker started tracking them if you want more information. By placing the tracker close to the back of their phone, users can also show the serial number and details about the owner. Use the ‘Play Sound’ option if you want to find the tracker without alerting the owner.
While the function looks for a tracker automatically, you can also perform a manual scan by opening the Settings app on your phone, going to the “Safety and Emergency” section, selecting “Unknown tracker alerts,” and then pushing the “Scan Now” button. You can view a list of nearby trackers that lost contact with their owners here.
Google claims that the ‘Unknown Tracker Alerts’ feature currently only works with Apple’s AirTag, but it has plans to expand its support in the future to include additional Bluetooth-based trackers. The tech giant is also developing a revamped version of the “Find My Device” network to compete with Apple’s service and assist consumers in finding misplaced items.