AirTags and other Bluetooth trackers are safer with this iOS 17.5 anti-stalking feature

AirTag on keychain
(Image credit: Future)

Apple has just released the iOS 17.5 software update to all users, after months of beta testing. The update includes Apple and Google's anti-stalking measures for Bluetooth trackers, which is designed to make devices such as AirTags safer.

Bluetooth trackers, such as Apple's own AirTags, are great pieces of kit. But, unfortunately, in the wrong hands, these trackers can do more harm than good. But that has all changed, with long-rumoured anti-stalking measures now included. These have been developed in partnership with Google, so that they work for all Bluetooth trackers – not just AirTags. Last year, Apple announced a partnership with Google to address these concerns with a proposal "to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth location-tracking devices for unwanted tracking," which includes the best alternative to Apple's AirTag.

iOS 17.5 and Android updates for versions 6.0 and up now come with these anti-stalking measures for Bluetooth trackers. The idea is to give you a heads-up when a tracker is moving with you (and potentially being used to stalk you), regardless of who made it.

How does it all work?

Under this robust new framework, both iOS and Android users will get a straightforward but game-changing alert: “[Item] Found Moving With You.” This pops up if any rogue Bluetooth tracking device, which might be cozily nestled in your belongings without your consent, is tagging along as you mosey about your day.

If the system flags an unknown tracker, your phone doesn’t just silently stew. Instead, it gives you an alert, the ability to make the tracker beep, and even detailed instructions on how to disable the pesky device. As we said, it's not just Apple's AirTag in the spotlight – Bluetooth tag manufacturers like Chipolo, eufy, Jio, Motorola, and Pebblebee are also jumping on this anti-stalking bandwagon.

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Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.