Apple announces major AirTag updates amidst tracking scrutiny

The news: After nearly a year of AirTag being available for purchase, Apple has more seriously responded to broad concerns about tracking and privacy.

Here’s the details from the press release…

  • As seen above, there will be a more stern privacy warning when setting up AirTag for the first time
  • When an unknown pair of AirPods has been found near you, a “Unknown Accessory Detected” alert would previously show up…now AirPods will be mentioned specifically
  • Updated support documentation is available now on Apple’s website
  • Precision Finding, which works on iPhone 11/12/13, will now work to find AirTags that could be tracking you (so that you can locate the threat as quickly as possible)
  • An unwanted AirTag near you that is emitting sound to notify you of its presence will now show an alert on your display, as well (in case the speaker has been tampered with)
  • Apple is updating their unwanted tracking alert logic to notify users even sooner if there is an AirTag following them
  • The sound emitted from AirTag is being tuned so that the loudest tones are even louder

Our take: Wow. This is incredibly comprehensive and I’m honestly impressed. I see what Apple waited so long to formally reply to these AirTag concerns: they’ve been working on all of this. I think they nailed it and there’s no doubt in my mind that this will have a positive effect against bad actors.