What you need to know
- Apple recently pushed an updated firmware to all AirTags in the wild.
- The new AirTag firmware update changes the sound made by unknown AirTag trackers.
- It's thought the change is designed to help people find AirTags that could be used for stalking.
Apple's recent AirTag firmware update is designed to make it easier for people to locate AirTags that could be used to stalk them, according to a new support document provided by Apple.
The updated AirTag firmware appears to have tweaked the sound that a tracker makes when it is unknown — meaning it isn't with the person whose device it is associated with. That could either help someone locate a lost AirTag that belongs to someone else or, more importantly, locate one that is being used to follow or track someone without their knowledge.
The new firmware update and associated change to the sound an AirTag makes is another move that appears to have been made amid ongoing privacy concerns relating to the tracker. AirTags have been used to stalk people, follow cars for potential theft, and more since their release and Apple continues to grapple with the best way to deal with that.
It's important to note that AirTags aren't the only item trackers available, nor are they the only ones that could be used for nefarious purposes. However, they are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of accuracy, making them more attractive to people who are up to no good.
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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.