AirTag is getting some notable enhancements in the near future.
As reported by CNET, Apple has announced that it is sending out updates to AirTag starting today that will change how it notifies people if they have an unwanted AirTags following them. The company also plans to release an Android app later this year to bring peace of mind to non-iPhone users.
The tech giant said Thursday it’s begun sending out updates to its AirTags, changing the window of time they’ll make noises when potentially being used to track another person. Initially, the Apple device would play in three days. Now it’ll begin to play at a random time inside a window that lasts between 8 and 24 hours.
To further reassure people about its AirTags, Apple said it’s developing an app for Android devices that will help people “detect” an AirTag or Find My network-enabled device that may also be unsuspectedly “traveling” with them. Apple iPhones already have a similar alert system built into their devices. The Android app will be released later this year.
“The recent introduction of AirTag included industry-first proactive features that discourage unwanted tracking,” Apple said in a statement. The company added that its moves, which come a week before its online Worldwide Developers Conference event, represent a continued commitment to improve AirTags privacy and security.
Apple said its updates for AirTags began Thursday, and will be automatically applied when in range of an iPhone. The company declined to provide more details about its upcoming AirTags and Find My accessory detection app for Android, saying it’ll share more details later this year.
The new updates to AirTag come after a number of outlets reported on the potential safety and privacy holes that exist in the product when it was released to the public. Funny enough, today’s announcements take care of the two main concerns brought up by Geoffrey A. Fowler at The Washington Post in his review.
I got multiple alerts: from the hidden AirTag and on my iPhone. But it wasn’t hard to find ways an abusive partner could circumvent Apple’s systems. To name one: The audible alarm only rang after three days — and then it turned out to be just 15 seconds of light chirping. And another: While an iPhone alerted me that an unknown AirTag was moving with me, similar warnings aren’t available for the roughly half of Americans who use Android phones.
While updating the frequency and timing of the audible alerts is a small step, creating an Android app is essential to ensure that everyone is protected against AirTag abuse, not just those with an iPhone.
AirTags that are within range of an iPhone will get the alerts update starting today. The Android app is expected to launch later this year, according to Apple.
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