Along with the release of iOS 15.2, Apple on Monday launched a new Android app for finding AirTags, but it’s only designed to help Android users spot unknown trackers, not actually use one with an Android phone. And it’s not very good at the one thing it’s supposed to do.
Apple previously announced that it would be releasing an Android app to find AirTags, and Tracker Detect fulfills the very least of those obligations. Tracker Detect is designed to do just one thing: look for Find My-compatible item trackers that may be with you. The app consists of a single screen and a scan button, which takes about 30 seconds to complete once pressed.
The results are fairly hit or miss. When I scanned for nearby trackers, it found a Chipolo One Spot, which is integrated into Find My, but didn’t locate the AirTag that was right next to it. The second time I scanned it didn’t find either item.
Tracker Detect is a somewhat useless app for keeping tabs on surreptitiously planted AirTags, since you need to deliberately run the scanner every time you want to check. However, it will help you find a friend’s lost tracker by playing a sound after it’s been near you for at least 10 minutes. You can also get instructions on how to disable a tracker found traveling with you.
However, after the excellent integration of AirTags into Find My on the iPhone, Tracker Detect is a big disappointment on Android. It’s not going to stop many people from surveilling Android users with hidden trackers and it isn’t a way for Android users to take advantage of Apple’s AirTag system. There’s no map or tracking capabilities built into the app, and it will only manually scan for a tracker nearby, and even then, it doesn’t appear to be all that reliable. Apple hasn’t announced whether it will offer Find My support for Android phones, but after the effort it put into Tracker Detect, that seems very unlikely.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.