Android smartphones have started receiving unknown tracker notifications

In addition to their direct use, trackers like Apple AirTag, Tile, and others have become a tool for unwanted surveillance of people. These are not only cases of privacy violations and harassment, but also, for example, the tracking of cars with subsequent theft.

Not immediately, but manufacturers have responded to the situation. For example, an iPhone is already able to report someone else’s AirTag if it has been tracking the user for some time. Now Android smartphones are starting to get this feature natively. It is already available through Google Play services and supports smartphones running Android 6.0 and later.

The function can be found in the Safety and emergency settings -> Unknown tracker alerts (in Android 11 and older versions, the section is called Personal Safety).

By default, the phone should notify you when an unknown tracker is nearby. However, the settings also include a Scan Now option that starts a quick search for trackers if a person suspects that a tracker has just been installed and it makes sense to make sure of their own security. The search uses Bluetooth.

And if you have a tracker, you will receive a notification with details about it and how to disable it. You can also turn on an audible alert on the tracker to locate it without the attacker knowing. The latter feature currently only works with Apple AirTag, but will eventually work with other manufacturers’ devices as well.

It should be noted that this feature only works with certain trackers from popular brands. Google does not provide an exact list of these gadgets.