The AirTag reveals that Apple is about to launch a new feature

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New features are coming to AirTag in the next few weeks to help address these stalker-related worries.
The first developer beta of iOS 17.5 is out now.
This all fits with the work Apple did last year when it, jointly with Google, proposed an industry standard specification to help make sure that Bluetooth trackers were not misused.
If it finds one, it will notify the iPhone user saying, “This item isn’t certified on the Apple Find My network.
To do this, follow the instructions provided on a website by the manufacturer of this item.” Right now, the iPhone software can spot Bluetooth trackers, but only ones which are certified by Apple.
This said, “With the new Find My Device network, you’ll be able to locate your devices even if they’re offline.
With both systems operational in the next few weeks, and enhanced software, it means that one of the most worrying elements of Bluetooth trackers could be brought under control.
More details are emerging of Google’s half of the equation, with further suggestions that its Find My Device network is about to go live.

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An incredible gadget is Apple’s AirTag. A small tracker can be concealed in your handbag, car, luggage, or anything else you wish to keep track of. But take note of the word “hide”—if you can, someone else probably can too. In the coming weeks, AirTag will get new features to help with these stalker-related concerns.

Below is an update as of April 6. April 4, 2024 was the original publication date of this post.

Today, iOS 17.5 released its first developer beta. The next iPhone software update is anticipated to be released generally soon (see here for the exact release schedule), and a lot of what could be coming is revealed by the code.

More from Forbes iPad 2024: It appears that Apple unintentionally leaked a brand-new product.

For instance, there are mentions of alerts for third-party item trackers, per 9to5Mac. All of this is consistent with the work that Apple and Google completed the previous year to propose an industry standard specification aimed at preventing the improper use of Bluetooth trackers.

It appears from the software mentions that tracking accessories that aren’t AirTags will still be recognized by the Find My app. It will alert the iPhone user with the message “This item isn’t certified on the Apple Find My network” if it locates one. This item’s location sharing with the owner can be turned off. To accomplish this, adhere to the guidelines the product’s manufacturer provides on a website. “.

As of right now, the iPhone software can identify Bluetooth trackers—but only those that Apple has approved. This will alter, and it’s a significant advancement.

MORE FROM FORBESiOS 17.5: Big iPhone Update Could Happen Any Minute Now.

Furthermore, it’s probably no coincidence that Google revealed today that it will begin rolling out its own Find My Device network within the next three days, either on Sunday, April 7, or on Monday, April 8. This was revealed by 9to5Google and is based on emails that Google distributed. “You’ll be able to locate your devices even if they’re offline with the new Find My Device network,” it stated. When your accessories are not connected to your device, you can also locate any Fast Pair compatible accessories. Compatible headphones and earbuds are included, as are trackers that you can fasten to your bike, wallet, or keys. “.

The report claims that “Google delayed the launch of its network for iPhone owners’ benefit so Apple could apply this protection in iOS, something that appears to have finally happened in iOS 17.5). “.

Stated differently, it appears that significant changes will be occurring in the tracking device industry over the next few days and weeks.

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Updated April 5. In the last few days, a warning from Burlington, Vermont, police officers has provided additional evidence that systems exist to identify inappropriate trackers.

Following their return from trips to Montreal, two Burlington residents discovered AirTags in their cars, which prompted the warning. Although a report from MacRumors also raises the possibility that the trackers are used “to tag cars as part of an effort to move drugs across the border,” it is thought that criminals may be placing AirTags on cars in order to track and later steal them. “.

After receiving a notification that an AirTag was traveling with him, one of the Burlington residents claimed to have found the tracker in the front grille and used the Find My app to make it beep.

The iPhone detected it because it was an AirTag, but the new iOS 17.5 software might be able to detect an AirTag on a tracker that isn’t made by Apple, and the new Google system ought to be able to notify an Android user if one is.

Once both systems are up and running in the coming weeks along with improved software, one of the most concerning aspects of Bluetooth trackers may be resolved.

Updated on April 6. Further hints that Google’s Find My Device network is ready to launch are providing additional information about its half of the equation. Apparently, Monday, April 8, is the day. Google’s network has been under development for a while; in July of last year, the company announced that it would delay its rollout until after Apple added iOS protections, which it appears will be included in iOS 17.5.

As Ars Technica notes, “The project’s goal is to enable helpful little Bluetooth tracking tags that can tell you where your stuff is, just like AirTags and the Tile network before it.”. Since these Bluetooth tags are designed to run on a small battery for a year, they are extremely low-power and lack the capacity for GPS. Nevertheless, they are still able to report their location because they are able to “borrow” the GPS chip from any nearby compatible smartphone. Even if you don’t own a Bluetooth tag, your phone will search for it, find its approximate location, and upload it to the cloud. All participants in the network contribute anonymously, with only the tag owner able to view the location of the tag. This creates a global, crowdsourced thing-tracking network. This is among the best explanations of how Find My functions that I have found, by the way.

Though it hasn’t happened yet, there were also rumors that Google was creating its own tracker hardware. Given the approaching May 14 Google I/O conference, perhaps now would be the ideal time for Google to make the announcement.

Tracker users and those who worry that they might be unintentionally tracked by them can expect a much more secure experience when iOS 17.5 goes on sale in May. This is likely because Google’s half of the deal is now complete, even in the absence of a Google tag.

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