Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
8/7/23 11:24 a.m.

Granted, it's an AirTag my wife and I put in the car in case of emergencies, but it's really good to know my phone can detect that sort of thing.

Here's how it went down:

  1. A few minutes ago, I got a notification that my phone detected that my location was being tracked by an AirTag.
  2. Gave me the option to make the AirTag beep so I could find it (I used this to confirm that it was the AirTag we placed in the car).
  3. Then offered information on how to disable the AirTag and how to report it to authorities.

I'm sure other phones can detect AirTags, too, but I thought this was worth a share.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
8/7/23 11:56 a.m.

Immediately relieved that it was your own airtag.  I was about to go pop some popcorn in case this one went sideways.

spandak
spandak Dork
8/7/23 12:08 p.m.

Got a similar notification a few weeks ago. We had dinner with some friends and then saw them the day after and drove to brunch. It was one they keep on their keys. 
 

It's nice that it alerts you but it's freaky when it does. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
8/7/23 12:20 p.m.

In reply to spandak :

Oh yeah, it scared me for a second. I'm just glad I remembered we put an AirTag in my car.

Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
8/7/23 12:23 p.m.
Colin Wood said:

... my wife ... put in the car in case of emergencies

So that's what she told you eh?

iansane
iansane Dork
8/7/23 12:37 p.m.

I'm surprised that the googs and apple talk like that.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/7/23 12:50 p.m.
iansane said:

I'm surprised that the googs and apple talk like that.

I'm pretty sure that the only reason Apple agreed to it is that otherwise they're enabling stalking.

 

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UberDork
8/7/23 4:06 p.m.

I had a similar situation happen a few weeks ago. My iPhone alerted me that an AirTag had been traveling with me for the past day. I was driving a UHaul with luggage for 40 people in it, so it made sense to me that someone had an AirTag in their bag. 
 

It was a weird feeling when I initially received the message, but it made sense in the context of what I was doing. I'm glad that it works cross-platform to prevent stalking. I wonder if the time it allows before it alerts you can be changed. In a stalker situation, a whole day might be too much time.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
8/7/23 4:12 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
iansane said:

I'm surprised that the googs and apple talk like that.

I'm pretty sure that the only reason Apple agreed to it is that otherwise they're enabling stalking.

 

But does an iPhone alert you if a Galaxy SmartTab is tracking you? 

I've had my ex-wife try and put airtags in my kids suitcases, duffles, and backpacks during their time with me thinking I wouldn't be able to notice. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/7/23 4:18 p.m.
DirtyBird222 said:

But does an iPhone alert you if a Galaxy SmartTab is tracking you? 

I've had my ex-wife try and put airtags in my kids suitcases, duffles, and backpacks during their time with me thinking I wouldn't be able to notice. 

Dunno about the galaxy, but I wouldn't be surprised.  If not, I suspect they're probably working on it because nobody wants to see their brand name in a newspaper story about a stalker/murder case.

As for your ex-wife, I suspect that's illegal.

 

Trent
Trent PowerDork
8/7/23 4:49 p.m.

So the primary purpose of an airtag (tracking theft) is no longer applicable? If the thief can just look at their phone and find the device and remove it, that seems so to me.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
8/7/23 5:00 p.m.
Trent said:

So the primary purpose of an airtag (tracking theft) is no longer applicable? If the thief can just look at their phone and find the device and remove it, that seems so to me.

I have heard that same criticism recently. For context, it's also been many months since we placed the AirTags in our cars. My phone just today let me know it detected it.

Run_Away
Run_Away Dork
8/7/23 5:06 p.m.

I'd love if pixel phones had a similar tracker available. I'm not an apple customer, and don't want to pay a monthly subscription for a real GPS tracker but would love to hide something like an airtag in my cars.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
8/7/23 5:10 p.m.

We got some to lojack our kids (2&5) if we go to big parks, etc. I wish my pixel tracked them, but my wife has apple, so...

 

I keep meaning to toss one in my trailer.

Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
8/7/23 6:12 p.m.

In reply to Trent :

Generally stalking happens over a long time vs. a stolen item being noticed quickly.  I think you can even geofence the airtags so if it's in something not normally moving you can be alerted.

In reply to Colin Wood :

This feature on Android was just introduced in the latest update.  Depending on your phone manufacture it might just been updated or for some people take months for the update.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic Dork
8/7/23 7:37 p.m.

"We know who you are and we know what you did."

Stampie
Stampie MegaDork
8/7/23 7:51 p.m.

In reply to VolvoHeretic :

I'm sorry for your emotional scars now.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/7/23 8:22 p.m.
Run_Away said:

I'd love if pixel phones had a similar tracker available. I'm not an apple customer, and don't want to pay a monthly subscription for a real GPS tracker but would love to hide something like an airtag in my cars.

The challenge is that the airtags don't have cellular radios, so it relies on using the network of phones owned by people who happen to walk within range of it to report the location.  That's great if you're Apple and can put the feature into a zillion phones out there and expect within a few months you'll have a large intalled base of support.  It's a lot harder for any individual Android vendor who each have individually much smaller market shares.  Google can do it because they own the OS, but Android phones tend to take a lot longer to get updated than iPhones so the rollout will be much slower.

 

Maybe I missed something reading the above posts.   But if they and be detected and disarmed how can they be used to prevent theft?  

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
8/7/23 8:53 p.m.
Run_Away said:

I'd love if pixel phones had a similar tracker available. I'm not an apple customer, and don't want to pay a monthly subscription for a real GPS tracker but would love to hide something like an airtag in my cars.

I would imagine the Samsung ones would work on a Pixel. There's always Tile, which is platform-neutral. Also, there have been rumors that Google is working on their own version.

9000kw
9000kw New Reader
8/7/23 9:00 p.m.

"We got some to lojack our kids (2&5) if we go to big parks, etc. I wish my pixel tracked them, but my wife has apple, so..."

Is there a better spot than bracelet/necklace/ankle/shoelace?

On the theft topic: Seems like there's a geofence function. You can probably set an alert to tell you if it's left a location. Then it's about how quickly you have to respond & attempt to recoup your property. Doesn't sound like a fun thing to do every time, when you're mobile.

"Maybe I missed something reading the above posts.   But if they and be detected and disarmed how can they be used to prevent theft?  "

The question is, what is the delay time. How long does the (thief) have, before being alerted? That is when you'd need to recognize that a loss has occurred, then go to your phone/computer, find the airtag, and attempt to physically regain your property. As I understand.

chandler
chandler MegaDork
8/7/23 9:41 p.m.

Some rental cars have them installed as well, I've had this pop up recently while driving a jag and a Mustang GT rental. Even knowing it's traveling with you you would need a specific reader to actually find it. It's 1.5" across and could be anywhere so it might act as a deterrent if someone stole something causing them to leave it somewhere else rather than risk being caught.

iansane
iansane Dork
8/8/23 10:26 a.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:
Run_Away said:

I'd love if pixel phones had a similar tracker available. I'm not an apple customer, and don't want to pay a monthly subscription for a real GPS tracker but would love to hide something like an airtag in my cars.

I would imagine the Samsung ones would work on a Pixel. There's always Tile, which is platform-neutral. Also, there have been rumors that Google is working on their own version.

The samsung software doesn't work on my pixel but the tile does. I have a tile in each of my cars. Just be forewarned, some of the tiles don't have replaceable batteries.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
8/8/23 11:13 a.m.
Stampie said:

This feature on Android was just introduced in the latest update.  Depending on your phone manufacture it might just been updated or for some people take months for the update.

Ah. Good to know.

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