Apple rolled out iOS 14.5 beta 3 earlier this week. iOS 14 updates don’t only deliver performance improvements and bug fixes; they also include brand new features.
iOS 14.5 will allow users to unlock an iPhone with the Apple Watch while wearing a mask, add Apple Maps incident reports, bring AirPlay 2 support to Apple Fitness+, and introduce new emoji. But iOS 14.5 beta 3 also includes a brand new security feature that might have been developed for a product that doesn’t officially exist.
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We’ve been hearing rumors that Apple would debut its Tile-like trackers for a year now. Called AirTags, these devices can be attached to important objects, like wallets and keys. You can then track those gadgets with the Find My app available on iPhone, iPad, or Mac. These trackers would operate on the same ultra-wideband (UWB) technology that’s also built into iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 devices. UWB allows all of Apple’s devices to talk to each other, so AirTags don’t need GPS. As long as the AirTags are within range of a different Apple device, they can be located on a map. That’s the theory, at least, since Apple hasn’t actually announced them.
Apple is widely expected to launch brand new products this spring, including AirTags. The updated Find My app in iOS 14.5 beta 3 points to that, as it now lists an Items tab that would probably include AirTagged items.
This is where the brand new security feature comes into play. Apple devices will detect everything that uses UWB signals, and they’ll be able to tell if someone places a device on you to keep track of your location, 9to5Mac reports.
Something I hadn’t considered before: new beta includes a Item Safety setting in Find My. This is how Apple is trying to prevent ‘stalking’ with AirTags. If someone secretly hides a tag in your possessions, your phone will notice and warn you about it. pic.twitter.com/NVJyAZlthw
— Benjamin Mayo (@bzamayo) March 4, 2021
Say someone leaves an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook tied to their Apple ID account in your vicinity….