iOS 15.2 beta gains nearby AirTag scanning to thwart unwanted tracking

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

What you need to know

  • iOS 15.2 adds a feature for finding nearby AirTags that could be used to track people without their knowledge.
  • People can check for AirTags and other Find My accessories.
  • Users are told how to disable the device to prevent unwanted tracking.

When Apple's AirTag went on sale people were immediately concerned that the tracker could be used to keep tabs on others without their knowledge. A new iOS 15.2 beta adds a change that makes it easier to ensure that doesn't happen — it can scan for nearby AirTag and other Find My-enabled devices and then alert if they are found.

The new feature, part of iOS 15.2 beta 2, adds a new option to the Items tab within the Find My app. There, iOS can scan for unknown trackers and then give people information on how to disable those trackers so that they can't keep tabs on them anymore.

While the Find My network is designed to make it easier for people to find their lost stuff, tracking people without their knowledge is a real issue for a huge group of people. AirTags are small and light and easy to hide — features like this can ensure that those worried about being tracked can be sure that they aren't and, if they are, take the required action to put a stop to it.

AirTags already play a sound up to 24 hours after being separated from the person that set it up. That's intended to alert people that an unknown AirTag is with them, although the length of time involved is more than long enough for the unwanted tracking to take place. This new iOS 15.2 change is an improvement in that regard.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.