The Apple and Android ecosystems just took another step toward melding together with the release of a new App built by Apple.
The app allows Android devices to track any nearby device that is “Find My-enabled.”
From Apple’s perspective the move is less about creating a user experience that spans ecosystems and more about user security.
The new Android App is called Tracker Detect and can be found on the Google Play store. Once the app is downloaded and installed an Android user can scan the immediate area for rogue AirTags or other “FindMy-enabled” devices.
If you’re not already familiar with AirTags the big thing to know about them is that they will begin to beep annoyingly every few minutes if they have been disconnected from their owner. The beeping is a means of alerting those nearby that an AirTag is present ostensibly in a bid to get a helping hand in finding its way back home.
The new App makes that process just a little bit easier. Once you’ve installed it you’ll be presented with a simple screen with a prompt to begin a scan of your immediate vicinity.
If you tell the app to scan it will look for any unknown devices and present you with the option to play a sound on the device. It will do this along with providing instructions for scanning the tag to see who it belongs to (or removing the battery to disable it).
The key thing to note here is that it is not a passive scan. The person using the app must proactively scan for devices. In an ideal world some future version would at least allow for the possibility of passively scanning an area as you moved through it, but this is a step in the right direction. Kudos to Apple!