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An Android app blows Apple out of the water when it comes to AirTag detection, study claims

Apple's tracker detection is allegedly getting beat at its own game. (Image source: Apple)
Apple's tracker detection is allegedly getting beat at its own game. (Image source: Apple)
A group of researchers has published a study claiming that their “AirGuard” Android app is better at detecting nearby AirTags than Apple’s tracker detection service on iOS. Incidents of AirTags being used to track and steal things like cars have been reported from the get-go. To prevent this, several apps have popped up, aiming to alert users about nearby trackers.

Researchers from the Darmstadt University in Germany have developed an Android app called “AirGuard” to notify users about the Apple AirTag stalking on Android. A study published by the researchers is claiming that AirGuard is better at detecting nearby AirTags than even Apple’s solution.

Since their release in April 2021, Apple AirTags have been used to track unsuspecting users. Due to their small size, abusers place AirTags inside bags, cars, or clothes to track the movement of victims through Apple’s “Find My” service. While no fool-proof method to get rid of these stalking AirTags exist, Apple has developed several protection mechanisms for iOS devices.

For Android devices, the company launched Tracker Detect on the Google Play Store. Unfortunately, according to Bleeping Computer, Tracker Detect isn’t as useful as Apple’s anti-stalking services on iOS devices.

Per the study, AirGuard senses trackers faster and in more varied scenarios than other tracker detection apps. For instance, when an AirTag is placed in a backpack, iOS tracking detection reportedly takes four hours to notify the victim. On the other hand, AirGuard only took about 30 minutes to send an alert. Furthermore, AirGuard was also able to identify trackers placed in cars which is something other tracker detectors struggle with.

AirGuard is open-source and works for all trackers and “Find My” type services. You can install it from the Google Play Store.

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Detection time comparison of different trackers published in the report. (Image source: Arxiv)
Detection time comparison of different trackers published in the report. (Image source: Arxiv)
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 02 > An Android app blows Apple out of the water when it comes to AirTag detection, study claims
Fawad Murtaza, 2022-02-28 (Update: 2022-02-28)