Apple Just Added A Helpful Feature To Its AirTags To Prevent Stalking

Apple has started the rollout of a new update for AirTag, bumping up the firmware version to 1.0.301. The changelog is barebones, except for one key upgrade that drastically improves upon the privacy aspect of Apple's coin-sized trackers and tones down their stalking potential. Apple's support page claims "tuning the unwanted tracking sound to more easily locate an unknown AirTag."

Now, it is unclear what the word "tuning" means here, but if Apple's promise made back in February is anything to go by, the AirTag alert sound should now be louder. Following concerns over multiple reports of AirTag devices being used for stalking and even car theft, Apple announced in February 2022 that it would be "adjusting the tone sequence to use more of the loudest tones" so that a hidden or misplaced tracker could be found more easily.

Apple also promised that as soon as an AirTag starts beeping, a notification about an unidentified tag will also be sent out to all nearby iPhone devices. This was done to make sure if users are in a noisy place and can't hear the audible alerts, the on-screen notification will make them aware of an unknown tracker in their vicinity. Back in February, Apple only mentioned that the changes would start appearing later this year, and it appears that at least one of them is now rolling out.

Fixing privacy concerns, one update at a time

In our review of the Apple object tracker, SlashGear's Chris Davies also highlighted the need for louder alert noises, and that the low volume of the alerts could be problematic if a user's surroundings were particularly loud. The latest firmware update for the AirTags requires a connected iPhone with iOS 14.5 or later installed. In order to check whether the update is available in your region, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Find My app installed on your iPhone.
  2. On the home screen, tap on the Items tab.
  3. Now, you'll see a list of items registered for Find My tracking on your account. Tap on the AirTags accessory in the list.
  4. Once the AirTags page is open, tap on the serial number and see whether it has been updated to v1.0.301, which is the latest build.

It is worth noting here that Apple doesn't let you manually install the latest firmware update for an AirTag. The updates are rolled out in a phased manner, which means it might take a few days to reach all users in a staggered manner. As per Apple update tracker account@AppleSWUpdates, the firmware version 1.0.301 was being rolled out for only 1% of users as of April 26. The update rollout is expected to reach the 10% user coverage mark on May 3 and will likely be available to all users by May 13.