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Google is slated to bake smart-tag detection directly into a future version of Android

A Galaxy SmartTag. (Source: Samsung)
A Galaxy SmartTag. (Source: Samsung)
Today might be April 1, 2022; however, the potential for privacy incursion that has grown with the rise of smart tags is no fooling matter. Google certainly seems to think so, at least, as it might be working on a way to set an Android phone to alert users to the presence of unfamiliar wireless trackers in a way that doesn't require a dedicated app.

Android has shown itself to be capable of outdoing iOS in terms of detecting potentially harmful smart-tag plantings; however, this has been demonstrated using an app developed for the OS rather than the system instead. Now, Google is said to be working on changing that.

9to5Google claims to have found references to smart tags in the code for the latest version of Play Services (22.12.13). The lines appear to call for new notifications that pop up should an "unknown" tracker be found via the use of low-energy Bluetooth (BLE).

Some of them also seem to confer the ability to distinguish between tags by maker: in other words, there might be specific dialogs for AirTags, others for Tile devices, and so on. There is also one to alert a user to the presence of a "Finder", although whether this one might be an upcoming product - one from Google itself, perhaps? - or for all other tags from different OEMs is hard to say at this point.

On that note, the new feature - which, as 9to5Google seems to think, could fit in under a Safety and Emergency menu in Android's settings - may be welcome indeed even as additional brands such as OPPO and OnePlus might get into this market alongside Samsung and Apple soon.

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9to5Google's screens supporting its claims of an upcoming tag-detection feature for Android. (Source: 9to5Google)
9to5Google's screens supporting its claims of an upcoming tag-detection feature for Android. (Source: 9to5Google)
 
 

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 04 > Google is slated to bake smart-tag detection directly into a future version of Android
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2022-04- 1 (Update: 2022-04- 1)