Apple announced AirTag last year. AirTag allows users to track personal items like their keys, wallet, and more through Apple’s Find My app. The AirTag was designed for consumers to track their personal belongings. However, some people are using it for unwanted tracking. If you want to track someone’s location, you can just put an AirTag in their bag or car and start tracking them using Apple’s Find My app. To prevent such acts, Apple has an feature in iOS that will notify users when an unknown AirTag is near to them for certain period of time.
Apple worked closely with various safety groups and law enforcement agencies to identify ways to update AirTag safety warnings and help users guard against unwanted tracking. Yesterday, Apple announced several new updates related to AirTag.
- New privacy warnings during AirTag setup: When a user sets up an AirTag for the first time, Apple will display an message stating that AirTag is meant to track their own belongings, and using AirTag to track people without consent is a crime. Apple will also make it clear for users that law enforcement can request identifying information about the owner of the AirTag.
- Addressing alert issues for AirPods: Apple will not display “Unknown Accessory Detected” alert if an AirTag is detected near user— only AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, or a third-party Find My network accessory. Apple will also update the alert to indicate that AirPods have been traveling with them instead of an “Unknown Accessory.”
- Updated support documentation: Apple is updating its unwanted tracking support article to include additional explanations of which Find My accessories may trigger an unwanted tracking alert and updated information on what to do after receiving an alert, including instructions for disabling an AirTag, AirPods, or Find My network accessory.
Later this year, Apple will bring the following updates to AirTag.
- Precision Finding: This feature will allow recipients of an unwanted tracking alert to locate an unknown AirTag with precision. iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 users will be able to use Precision Finding to find the unknown AirTag when it is in range.
- Display alert with sound: When AirTag automatically emits a sound to alert anyone nearby of its presence and is detected moving with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, Apple will display an alert on your device.
- Refining unwanted tracking alert logic: Apple’s unwanted tracking alert system will use sophisticated logic to determine how it alerts users.
- Tuning AirTag’s sound: Apple will be adjusting the tone sequence to use more of the loudest tones to make an unknown AirTag more easily findable for users.