Apple has released an app for Android cell phones that will alert users if they are near a monitoring device.
Apple AirTags are miniature GPS trackers that may be affixed to misplaced things such as keys or backpacks.
They could, however, be used for nefarious purposes, such as planting them on someone without their knowledge.
The new app allows Android users to detect trackers that they do not own in their immediate vicinity.
AirTags build a powerful tracking network by using millions of Apple devices, each of which can detect adjacent tags.
Apple developed a feature that would inform users if an “unknown AirTag” or other compatible third-party device was identified as “traveling with you over time” two months after its release, citing worries about abuse.
And the new Android Tracker Detect software aims to provide Android users with some of the security capabilities found in Apple’s own devices.
According to Apple’s support literature, the software “searches for item trackers within Bluetooth range that are separated from their owner.”
If an AirTag has been nearby for at least 10 minutes, the app allows users to play a sound on it to help locate it.
AirTags also beep at random intervals between eight and 24 hours if they are away from the iPhone they are registered to, which can help unwitting victims locate any obtrusive monitors.
The new app also includes instructions for removing the battery and disabling an AirTag if one is discovered.
Some users have criticized the fact that scans must be begun manually rather than automatically recognizing adjacent tags, implying that victims must already be aware that they are being tracked.
Others, on the other hand, praised Apple for bringing privacy tools to a competing platform.