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Tracker Detect was released back in December 2021 for Android devices to discover and track unexpected Apple AirTags, but why? Well, Apple had a couple of run-ins with some questionable privacy moves back in 2021, with one of them being AirTags being used to track other people.
Track Detect is retaliation to said claims, with Android users now being able to track any AirTags moving with them for more than ten minutes. Why ten minutes? This was deemed a decent amount of time for Apple to rule out any passing AirTags, which again brings about questions.
Plenty of morning commutes on public transport take longer than ten minutes, could the app itself be used maliciously to set off stranger AirTags? Only AirTags that have been away from their paired devices for at least ten minutes will show up on Tracker Detect scans, so that eliminates some instances at least.
This raises other privacy concerns such as Apple not giving users an option to continuously scan for AirTags that have been away from paired devices and traveling with Android users for more than ten minutes.
This means potential victims would need to think they’re being tracked in the first place, something that’s counter-intuitive to helping them find out if they’re being scanned or not. Although Apple has a solution to this problem: Buy an iPhone for automatic alerts. A solid stance against privacy there Apple!
Tracker Detect also picks up on any ‘Find My Network’ enabled devices, which can include other devices such as Chipolo ONE Spot and excludes other tags such as Samsung and Tile brands. The most disturbing point here is that the Tracker Detect Android app launched eight months after AirTags did, leaving non- iPhone users in the dark.
Some scanning ability beats none at all, so let’s get into how to set up and use Tracker Detect Android. The most important thing is physically downloading the app itself by searching for ‘Tracker Detect’ on the Google Play Store. They’ll be all sorts of apps in the results, but you’re looking for Tracker Detect with the developer being Apple.
When the app opens, hit Scan to find any nearby AirTags that may be tracking you. If no results return, that’s a good thing. If you do get AirTags in the results, see the following step.
This could be a big deal. This AirTag has been away from its paired device and following your movements for at least the last ten minutes. It could just be a coincidence, maybe a fellow commuter has left the AirTag behind on the train by mistake for example.
Regardless, you now have the option to ring the AirTag and bring up instructions on how to disable it if necessary.