Use the built-in Android Airtag tracker (unknown tracker) detect feature
Apple AirTags are small, lightweight tracking devices that can be attached to items to help you find them if they’re lost or misplaced. While AirTags are designed to work with Apple devices, there are a few ways to use them with Android phones. Here is how to use the Android Airtag Tracker.
Use your Android Airtag tracker to detect a nearby Apple Airtag. The Android Airtag tracker detect function uses Bluetooth to detect a nearby Airtag. Apple has done a lot to protect its customers from Airtag stalking. Now Android has a function to monitor and detect Airtags and any Airtag stalking that may be a result of Airtags planted on your person or belongings.
Currently, Android’s Unknown Tracker Alert function only detects Apple Airtags. There are legal uses of Airtags and they can serve a valid purpose. However, recently there have been too many cases of Airtags being used in harmful ways. It is always a good idea to be aware of any Airtags that may be accompanying you.
Enable Unknown Tracker Alert on your Android
- Open Settings, Touch to open Safety and emergency
- Scroll down and Touch to open Unknown tracker alerts
- Slide the Allow alerts switch to the right to enable Unknown tracker alerts
- Bluetooth must be enabled
- You can scroll down and Touch on Scan now to do a scan
1. How to use the Unknown Tracker Detect function
The Unknown Tracker Detect function allows you to scan for AirTags and other tracking devices that are in range. Once you’ve found an AirTag, the app will show you its location and allow you to play a sound to help you find it.
To use the Tracker Detect app to find an AirTag:
- Open the Unknow Tracker Detect
- Touch the “Scan” button.
- Move your Android phone around the area where you think the AirTag is located.
- If the app finds an AirTag, it will show you its location on a map and allow you to play a sound to help you find it.
2. Use a file explorer app to find Airtags
AirTags use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to communicate with other devices. If your Android phone has an NFC reader, you can use a file explorer app to read the AirTag’s NFC tag to get more information about it, such as its serial number and owner contact information.
To read an AirTag’s NFC tag with an Android phone:
- Open a file explorer app on your Android phone.
- Touch the “Menu” button (three dots).
- Touch “Settings”.
- Enable the “NFC” option.
- Place the AirTag on the back of your Android phone.
- Your Android phone should automatically read the AirTag’s NFC tag.
3. Contact the AirTag’s owner
If you find an AirTag and you’re not sure where it belongs, you can contact the AirTag’s owner by touching the “Unknown AirTag” notification on your Android phone or by scanning the AirTag’s NFC tag.
Once you’ve contacted the AirTag’s owner, you can arrange to return the AirTag to them.
Limitations of using unknown (Airtag) trackers with Android
It’s important to note that AirTags are designed to work with Apple devices. As such, there are some limitations to using AirTags with Android phones. For example, you can’t use AirTags to track the location of your Android phone or to receive alerts when your Android phone is out of range.
Additionally, the Unknown Tracker Detect function doesn’t have all of the features of the Find My app on Apple devices. For example, you can’t use Unknown Tracker Detect to see the last known location of an AirTag or to enable Lost Mode.
Overall, using AirTags with Android phones is a limited experience. However, it’s still a good way to find AirTags that are lost or misplaced.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Android Airtag Tracker Alert:
What is an unknown (Airtag) tracker alert?
An unknown tracker alert notifies you if a Bluetooth tracker belonging to someone else is traveling with you for an extended period and is currently out of range of its owner. This helps protect you from unwanted tracking.
How do I enable unknown (Airtag) tracker alerts?
Go to your phone’s Settings app.
Scroll down and tap Safety & emergency.
Tap Unknown tracker alerts.
Ensure the Allow alerts toggle is switched on.
What triggers an unknown (Airtag) tracker alert?
The alert triggers when:
- An unknown Bluetooth tracker stays with you for more than a certain period (typically 10 minutes).
- The tracker is currently out of range of its owner’s device.
- Your phone detects the tracker using Bluetooth.
What information does the alert provide?
The alert shows:
- The type of tracker detected (e.g., AirTag).
- The last time the tracker was seen near you.
- A map showing the tracker’s approximate location.
- Options to play a sound on the tracker (to help locate it) or learn what to do next.
How do I manually scan for nearby trackers?
- Go to Settings > Safety & emergency > Unknown tracker alerts.
- Tap Scan now.
- Your phone will scan for nearby trackers separated from their owners and display a list with information and guidance.
Can I prevent specific trackers from triggering alerts?
Currently, there’s no way to whitelist specific trackers on Android. However, if you own an AirTag you can disable its “Item Safety Alerts” feature on an Apple device to avoid accidentally triggering alerts on nearby Android users.
Should I be worried if I get an alert?
Not necessarily. It could be someone you borrowed an item from, someone traveling with you, or even a lost tracker. Consider the context and use the provided information to assess the situation.
Can I disable unknown (Airtag) tracker alerts?
Yes, you can turn off the feature by going to Settings > Safety & emergency > Unknown tracker alerts and toggling off Allow alerts. However, this is not recommended for your own safety.
What can I do if I suspect someone is tracking me?
- If you feel unsafe, contact the authorities.
- Consider taking steps to further secure your privacy, such as changing passwords and monitoring your online activity.
- Keep your phone updated with the latest security patches.
Other Unknown (Airtag) Tracker Apps
Apple has their own tracker app for Android that you can download from Google Play store. Reviews say this app only detects Airtags when manually initiated, not a constant detection. Apple Tracker Detect
A better 3rd party app for detecting Airtags is AirGuard – AirTag protection. This app will constantly look for Airtags and display their location on a map.
You can improve your Google privacy by reviewing your Google Privacy Settings for Android.