Apple announced yesterday several changes to AirTags. Those changes focus on preventing a person from being tracked using an AirTag and come in the form of a firmware update for the devices and the release of an Android app in a few months.
Apple has released the first firmware update for the AirTag since it was introduced a few months ago. Through this update, Apple has adjusted the time required for the AirTag to start beeping. AirTags will now emit a sound if they have been separated from the iPhone with which they are paired for between eight and 24 hours. The exact time will be chosen randomly. A substantial difference from the previous three-day window.
This update is installed automatically when our AirTags are within range of the iPhone with which they are paired. The truth is that we can not force the update in any way, but we can check if it has already been done. The steps are as follows:
- Open the Find app on our iPhone.
- Go to the Objects tab.
- Select the AirTag you want to check.
- Tap the AirTag name to see the firmware version.
The firmware version that the AirTags were released with is 1.0.225, while the newly released update carries the version number 1.0.276. So, if we see this second value, it means that our AirTags have already been updated. If not, the update will be done automatically in a few days.
Apple prepares a dedicated app
When our iPhone detects that an AirTag that is not ours is traveling with us (provided that the iPhone with which it is paired is not also moving with us) we receive an alert in the form of a notification. This is a functionality that, although now only available for iPhones, will also be available on Android through the app that Apple is developing.
This application would arrive towards the end of this year and would allow Android users to detect an AirTag or a device compatible with the Find network when it is traveling with them. Apple stated “The recent introduction of AirTag includes the industry’s first proactive features that discourage unwanted tracking. These measures represent a continued commitment to improving AirTag’s privacy and security”.
Let’s remember, currently any phone on the market with an NFC chip can identify a lost AirTag to view the owner’s contact details. With this app, Apple goes a step further and allows Android users to receive the same notification that iPhones receive when a suspicious AirTag is detected.
Object tracking devices have indeed been available on the market for a long time. It is also true that the boost and visibility that Apple has given to this kind of accessory by introducing the AirTag is more than considerable. Devices that, like too many things, can be tremendously useful or used for shadier purposes. Fortunately, with this update and the launch of the Android app we will focus on the more positive side of our AirTag: quickly locate any lost object.