Google may soon add a built-in Bluetooth tracker detection feature in Android
Bluetooth trackers have quickly become a hot tech commodity. While companies like Tile have offered Bluetooth-powered tags for years, it was Apple’s AirTags that helped these tiny devices achieve mainstream popularity. If you’re on Android, you usually have to download a separate app from the tag manufacturer to monitor, scan and control your device. But it appears that Google may soon let you scan for nearby trackers without downloading a third-party app.
A recent APK teardown from 9to5Google reveals that Google is working on integrating Bluetooth tracker detection capability right into Android. The feature will be part of the Google Play Services, so it should allow Google to bring it to the masses with minimum effort. Within the latest version of the Play Services, 9to5Google has found strings related to “Unfamiliar device alerts” and an “Unfamiliar Tag Detected Notification” for Bluetooth Low Energy tags.
According to the following strings, the feature will be able to detect Apple’s AirTag, Tile tag, and Finder tag.
<string name=”atag_device_name”>ATag</string> <string name=”finder_device_name”>Finder tag</string> <string name=”tile_device_name”>Tile tag</string>
In addition to detecting, it looks like Google will also allow Android users to ring an identified tag. This will be similar to how Apple lets you play a sound on unknown AirTags.
Google started working on the built-in Bluetooth tag detection feature in mid-March. It’s still in development and hasn’t been rolled out to users yet. It’s unclear when Google plans to make it available to Android users. It’s also entirely possible that the feature may never see the light of day. We’ll keep an eye out and let you know if we learn any new details about the tag detection functionality.
Google is also developing an Ultra-wideband (UWB) API for third-party Android apps. The API will enable improved support for UWB-based trackers and allow developers to take advantage of ultra-wideband technology to offer new features and use cases in their apps.