AirTag Firmware 2.0.24 - More protection against stalking with AirTags

Since then, Apple called its tracker hardware AirTags has presented there is criticism of the parts. This is quite justified, because with the small and through the "Where is?' network of easy-to-find tracking devices has opened up an easy way for people to be stalked. Thanks to AirTag firmware 2.0.24, for which detailed information is now available, stalking efforts with AirTags are now at least made more difficult. Not only is it easier to determine the exact position of the AirTag with an iPhone. There is also a notification if a foreign tracker moves with you. For this is at least iOS 16.2 required on the iPhone.

With the firmware update to version 2.0.24, Apple has made its AirTags more recognizable. So there is more protection against AirTag stalking. Details and the link to the official support document can be found here.
With the firmware update to version 2.0.24, Apple has made its AirTags more recognizable. So there is more protection against AirTag stalking. Details and the link to the official support document can be found here.

Apple gives insight into current AirTag firmware

The iPhone manufacturer maintains several support documents on its website in which firmware updates for the various devices in its product range are listed and explained. Depending on the localization, these support documents are maintained more or less conscientiously. In the German version of the document HT213245 for example, something was recently written about AirTag firmware version 1.0.301. In November, however, there were updates to versions 2.0.24 and 2.0.36 - and these are now examined in more detail in the English-language document (see link). AirTag firmware version 2.0.24 states:

  • Enables Precision Finding to help locate an unknown AirTag detected moving with you.
  • If your iPhone is awake, a notification alerts you when an AirTag that's separated from its owner is traveling with you and emitting a sound to indicate it has been moved.

These features require iOS 16.2 or later.

So to be notified of a possible stalker AirTag, you need to have updated your iPhone to iOS 16.2. That goes over Settings -> General -> software update. The so-called "precision finding", i.e. the "Accurate search“, only works with iPhones that have a U1 chip installed. These are models from the iPhone 11 from 2019. 

Why is Apple waiting so long with firmware details?

We should actually be happy about some delays in the documentation of firmware change logs by Apple. Because if, for example, a critical security gap is closed, then the information should not invite ad hoc hackers to attack all those devices that have not yet received the firmware update. It's safer not to let anyone know until the majority of devices are secure.

Apple can be said to be similarly cautious with the AirTags. Because if stalkers find out that the update that has just been rolled out is making their project more difficult, they could try to prevent the new firmware from being installed. By playing out two new versions and a documentation that was only published weeks later, the chance that perpetrator AirTags will get the update is increased. Aside from that, Apple doesn't seem to give change logs a high priority in general.

Without an iPhone: Recognize AirTags with an Android device

If you use an Android smartphone, you can also detect foreign AirTags nearby. You can do that with the free one tracker detection apartment The link takes you to the article in which I explain the functions and handling of the app. A separate test is still pending.

At the end of the article, I address false expectations of the app, because it is used e.g. B. not the setup and use of AirTags with the Android phone. It is made solely for tracking down foreign trackers. The app offer is intended to help identify and stop unwanted tracking. 

There is more information about stalking via software here: What is stalker ware?

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.