Apple and Google collaborate to streamline the identification of suspicious item trackers

Apple, Google, make it easier, Spot, suspicious item trackers", teamed up

Apple’s iOS 17.5 update is finally addressing the issue of unwanted location trackers. These Bluetooth trackers have been used by individuals to stalk others, posing a major safety concern. In response, Apple has collaborated with Google to develop a solution to this problem. While Google had initially planned to upgrade its Find My Device network, the launch was postponed to align with Apple’s new standard.

With the release of iOS 17.5, Apple now notifies users if an unknown Bluetooth tracker has been placed on them. If the device detects a suspicious tracker, an alert will appear on the iPhone screen, stating “[Item] Found Moving With You.” Furthermore, the iPhone can emit a noise to help users locate the unwanted device, with accompanying instructions on disabling and removing it. Apple has provided detailed guidance on its support website to aid users in this process.

It is important to note that this detection tool will only work with compatible devices that adhere to Apple and Google’s specifications. Third-party manufacturers like Chipolo and Motorola have committed to releasing future models that are compatible with the new standard. Android devices already have the ability to detect Bluetooth trackers, and Google is currently implementing its updated Find My Device feature to work in conjunction with Apple’s network.

Beyond the security patch, iOS 17.5 brings additional features and improvements. To celebrate Pride Month, Apple has introduced a dynamic wallpaper that honors the LGBTQ+ community. This wallpaper adds a visually appealing element to the user interface while promoting inclusivity. Additionally, the company has included a new game called Quartile in Apple News Plus. Similar to Scrabble, Quartile challenges players to create words using small groups of letters.

Apple News Plus subscribers can now download audio briefings and entire magazine issues for offline enjoyment. When users regain internet connectivity, the downloaded content will automatically refresh, ensuring they have access to the latest updates. Furthermore, the Podcasts widget has received an upgrade, now supporting dynamic colors that match the artwork of the podcast, adding a visually engaging touch to the home screen.

One particularly notable feature is the introduction of Repair State. This feature serves as a “special hibernation mode,” allowing users to send in their iPhones for repair or service without disabling the Find My connection. This means that even if the device is not in the possession of the user, they can still track it and ensure its security.

To install the iOS 17.5 update, users can navigate to the Settings menu on their iPhones. From there, they should go to General and then select Software Update to receive the patch. If you are interested in purchasing a new iPhone, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best iPhones for 2024.

In conclusion, Apple’s iOS 17.5 update addresses the issue of unwanted location trackers by introducing a detection tool. This tool notifies users if an unknown Bluetooth tracker is placed on them and provides instructions on how to disable and remove it. The update also brings several other features, including a dynamic wallpaper for Pride Month, a new game in Apple News Plus, and enhanced offline capabilities for Apple News Plus subscribers. The Podcasts widget has received an upgrade, allowing for dynamic colors, and the introduction of Repair State enables users to send in their iPhones for service without disabling the Find My connection. To stay up to date with the latest features and improvements, users can install the iOS 17.5 update through the Settings menu on their iPhones.

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