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Google wants to prevent you from being spied on with an AirTag or other Bluetooth locators

Google wants to protect people who use an Android smartphone from possible eavesdropping with the increasingly popular Bluetooth trackers. The company is developing a function for its operating system capable of detecting and warning –without user intervention– about the nearby presence of accessories such as Apple AirTags or Tile. That, at least, is what 9to5Google indicates, whose team has “disassembled” the Google Play Services APK.

Users, as the code suggests, would receive a notification on their mobile phone when the operating system detects that a tracker – even if it is from Apple or Tile – has been near them for a certain time, which may be an indication of that someone is trying to spy on your location.

The function would not be linked to a new version of Android, but to Google Play Services. This layer is necessary for the operation of many services and apps, so all Android smartphones have it installed. In addition, to have the latest version of it, the intervention of each manufacturer is not necessary, so updating this component is much simpler. This therefore allows Apple to achieve a similar reach with its 'Net Search'.

Will Google release an alternative to Apple's AirTag for Android?

Google, like Apple, would allow third-party manufacturers to make their trackers compatible with the new location service. Three types of devices are mentioned in the application code: “ATags”, which could refer to AirTags; “Tile”, which refers to devices of the same name; and “FinderTag”. What this last variable refers to is a mystery. One option is for it to be its own alternative to the Apple and Tile systems.

At the moment, it is unknown when the possibility of locating tags like Tile's on Android smartphones will be available through this system. The feature is still in early development, so it could take a few months to arrive.

A sector dominated by Apple

The AirTags from Apple are probably the most popular device in this category. These, let us remember, allow objects to be tracked very precisely thanks to the Search app present in iOS, which offers, among other options, the possibility that said gadget emits a sound to locate it quickly, know its location precisely thanks to UWB technology , check the owner of an object in case we find an AirTag, etc.

Apple, on the other hand, has a feature called 'Network Search'. This makes it possible for any AirTag to connect securely via Bluetooth to an iPhone or any other Apple product within range, regardless of whether that device belongs to the locator or not. In this way, the owner can receive a more recent location so that it is easier to locate him. The aforementioned medium highlights that the Google app does not show signs of a similar function (at least, for the moment), so the platform prepared by the company would be somewhat more limited compared to the Search app.