If your iPhone is giving you alerts about AirTags that don’t exist, you’re not the only one. This is something Apple has verified for certain customers, who are receiving “phantom AirTag alerts,” which are notifications concerning trackers that aren’t really present.
In accordance with a Wall Street Journal story, the problem displays straight red lines extending out from a user’s location, but the AirTag that has been reported is absent. As of this writing, it’s not known how many people have really seen it, but Apple has admitted that it is taking place.
The WSJ reports that the phantom AirTag flaw has been impacting users for “recent weeks” despite the fact that an anti-stalking upgrade for these portable tracking devices was only released a few days ago.
Location services on iPhones may be briefly confused by Wi-Fi signals, according to an Apple spokesman who talked to the Wall Street Journal, while AirTags belonging to other users may “inadvertently generate unwelcome warnings” in heavily populated regions.
There’s a workaround for the first issue, which is to turn off location services on the phone and then turn them back on. Using your iPhone’s iOS Settings screen, you can discover the option under Privacy.
Even if a software patch isn’t necessary, keep an eye out for AirTag alerts—just don’t be startled if you receive one for an AirTag tracker that hasn’t been located yet.
Analysis: Apple has to strike a fine balance.
An AirTag may be added to a lost item, allowing you to enlist the aid of every iPhone on the world to find it (anonymously and confidentially). AirTags don’t come with built-in location tracking, but they can connect to neighbouring iPhones to get the information they need.
While it’s a great feature, the fact that these trackers may be declared as lost by their owners and then utilised to keep tabs on someone else’s whereabouts is a drawback (through their bag, car or coat, for example). This is a concern for all Bluetooth trackers, but AirTags are particularly affected because of the widespread use of iPhones, particularly in the United States.
When an AirTag that isn’t theirs is following them around, Apple has included a way to let consumers know. An Android app has also been released by Apple to do the same function on non-iPhone cellphones.
When an AirTag is close, it’s essential, but according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, it’s not always simple to tell whether an AirTag is nearby. As time goes on, the technology and the algorithms that make it possible will continue to develop, and this problem will go away.