Apple’s Android app is less effective at finding an unwanted AirTag tracker after it is detected than an app created by university researchers.
University researchers have created a Android app that they claim to be better than Apple at finding an unknown AirTag or other Find My compatible tracker. The AirTag is intended to be used to locate one’s lost items. However, the advanced tracking technology Apple’s Tags contain makes them attractive to thieves, who might hide an AirTag in a vehicle or other expensive object as a target to locate and steal under cover of darkness when the owner is away or asleep.
Apple provides an alert to iPhone owners if an unknown AirTag is detected nearby and is traveling with the person, suggesting unwanted tracking may be taking place. Apple also released an Android app with similar functionality. However, Apple’s Tracker Detect app for Android must be opened and manually triggered to locate an AirTag. This means that the user should expect a hidden tracker and remember to use the app for it to be useful.
Find hacked AirTags
It recently emerged that some AirTag owners have modified the devices to prevent them from emitting sound. With an iPhone, an AirTag can be located with a range and heading provided, so sound is not critical for this purpose. However, the Android app cannot use this “Precision Search”.‘ as it requires a phone that supports Apple’s ultra-wideband technology, i.e. an iPhone 11, 12 or 13.
AirGuard, on the other hand, can help find a muted AirTag because it can narrow down the location of the tracker by checking its relative signal strength. A stronger signal usually indicates that it is closer. It’s somewhat similar to the approach used by Tile’s app to estimate the distance to its Bluetooth beacons. With background checks and distance estimates along with a manual scan option and the ability to play audio on a fully functional AirTag, AirGuard seems to be the superior. Android app to find unwanted trackers.
Next: How to change the name of your AirTags
Source: Google Play Store, beeping computer
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