Apple announces privacy update to AirTag and promises an Android app

Find My Precision Finding Airtag Hero
Find My Precision Finding Airtag Hero (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has announced updates to AirTag.
  • The company is shortening the amount of time you'll be notified of an unwanted AirTag.
  • They are also planning to release an app for Android users later this year.

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.

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 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.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.