Apple’s AirTags can be an incredibly useful tool for so many people but unfortunately they can also be used for nefarious reasons. Due to Apple’s walled garden Android users have been unable to detect when there was an unknown tracker in their vicinity, but not anymore with Google rolling out support for Apple’s AirTag detection.

Apple’s AirTags use Bluetooth LE pings to nearby iPhones for folks to be able to find their AirTag and what it is attached to. The iPhone then makes the location of the tag available on Find My network to help locate it. Unfortunately, these can help those with ulterior motives such as stalkers etc.

Apple has built into iOS a notification if an AirTag is near you for an extended period of time and although there is an Android app from Apple to detect AirTags it is only a manual scan tool — not an automatic so unless you suspect an AirTag near you, you have been out of luck.

Google has recently rolled out a new setting to most Android phones as part of a Google Play Services update on devices running Android 6.0 and above. The new setting is located in the Safety & emergency part of your phone’s settings. The new setting allows you to toggle on automatic alerts as well as perform a manual scan for unknown trackers.

On the Google support page they offer suggestions to find the unknown tracker. It is simple to perform if you do get an alert of an unknown tracker travelling with you. Tap on the notification to open a map to see where it has been travelling with you. Tap on the Play sound link to locate the tracker (The owner won’t be notified if you play the sound).

Google also offer suggestions on what to do once you find the tracker, including to get help if you feel unsafe and how to disable the tracker.

It’s great to see Google roll out this automatic feature to Android. We suggest you head into your settings and make sure that automatic alerts are toggled on for you (it appears to be on by default) and run a manual scan yourself at the same time.