How does one know whether a stalker has slipped an AirTag into your possessions? If you’ve got an iPhone, you’ll quickly get an alert that an AirTag is following you. If you’re an Android user, the AirTag will just start beeping three days after it begins tracking you. Here’s the way to scan for AirTags.
How It Works: AirTags Use Bluetooth
Here’s how this works: AirTags use Bluetooth so nearby devices on Apple’s Find My network can spot them. If you employ a Bluetooth scanner app—the quite app that shows nearby Bluetooth devices—you will see any nearby AirTags appear within the list of nearby Bluetooth devices.
It’s a touch more complicated than it sounds. The Apple AirTag won’t show up as an “AirTag” within the list, but it’ll appear as an unnamed Bluetooth device—and it does say it’s an Apple device, so it’d be easy to identify the AirTag if you don’t own any Apple-made Bluetooth gadgets.
Also, once you’ve spotted the device that appears to be an AirTag, you’ll move your Android phone around and concentrate to signal strength to pin down its location.
How to Scan for AirTags on Android
To scan or nearby AirTags, you’ll need a Bluetooth scanner app. We used LightBlue, a free Bluetooth scanner app available on the Google Play Store. Install the app on your Android phone, launch it, and perform a scan.
You’ll see all nearby Bluetooth devices here—everything from Bluetooth mice and keyboards to headphones to AirTags. If you reside during a n apartment house or you’re currently in a public location, bear in mind that you simply may even see other people’s nearby devices during this list.
So, if you would like a neater time spotting AirTags within the list, it’d be helpful to urge faraway from other people’s devices. You’ll have a neater time spotting an AirTag in your bag if you’re within the middle of an empty field than if you’re sitting within the middle of an airport.
The AirTag will appear as an “Unnamed” device. If you tap it, you’ll see that the “Manufacturer specific data” field says this particular entry is an Apple device, which may be a hint that this particular device could be an AirTag. It could even be another piece of hardware made by Apple, of course.
Note: Note that the AirTag’s device ID—that’s the string of values that appears as “42:9A:35:A7:99:51” within the below screenshot—will automatically change to new random values over time. You can’t believe the ID alone to identify an AirTag over time.
How to Find a Nearby AirTag
If you’re pretty sure there’s an AirTag near you, you’ll use the device’s signal strength displayed within the app to assist find it. The closer your phone gets to the AirTag, the more the signal strength meter will refill .
By moving your phone around, you would possibly be ready to get a far better idea of where the nearby AirTag is found .
Scan the AirTag with NFC
Once you discover the AirTag, if it’s in Lost Mode and is tracking you, you’ll scan the white side of the AirTag with NFC to look at contact information and a message the AirTag’s owner may need set. Just tap the rear of your Android phone (or an iPhone) against the white side of the AirTag.
Obviously, This Isn’t Ideal
Clearly, this isn’t a perfect solution. With the launch of AirTags in early 2021, iPhone users will get a fast notification that an AirTag is following them—but Android users need to wait three days to listen to a beep or scan for AirTags manually. That’s faraway from ideal.
What happens if Google releases an identical Bluetooth tracker within the future? Do Android users get a fast notification a Google Tag is following them, but iPhone users need to wait three days to listen to a beep?
Clearly, more interoperability would be ideal—if Apple and Google created a cross-platform standard that might let Android quickly detect nearby AirTags within the same way, that’d be great. Unfortunately, we’re not holding our breaths for that sort of cooperation.