Here is all we know about Apple’s AirTags item tracking system
Apple unveiled its long-awaited AirTag in April 2021 after years of rumours and speculation after many years of waiting. The circular small tag is designed to be attached to items such as keys and wallets so that accessories, such as these, can be tracked via Bluetooth at the same time as Apple devices using the mobile app Find My
Price of AirTags
In any case, a single AirTag costs $29, while a full package of four AirTags costs $99.
It should be noted that AirTags are available directly from Apple, but the price is not inclusive of any accessories necessary to attach the AirTag to an item. AirTag accessories are available from Apple and several third parties, but Apple offers the AirTags accessory separately.
The AirTag can also be purchased from third-party retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy.
Release date of AirTags
Preorders for AirTags were opened on Friday, April 23, 2021, and the product was officially launched on Friday, April 30, 2021.
Reviews about AirTag
Several members of the media were able to test AirTags before they went on sale, and they have given them a positive first impression. According to some reports, AirTags have been hailed as a “smart” and “capable” gadget for those in Apple’s ecosystem, as well as having a great deal of tracking simplicity and accuracy.
There can sometimes be a 30-second delay before the AirTag can obtain its initial location from another room depending on the Bluetooth signal, and the accuracy of the location is also affected by obstacles and walls. To get around this, you could use the U1 Precision Tracking.
Design for the AirTags
Known as the AirTag, it is a small, button-shaped tracking device. It is coated in a shiny white film and has an engraving area on the front that can be customized. A set of AirTags is designed to be embedded on an item, so they can attach to it using additional accessories. CR2032 batteries are used inside the AirTags.
With a diameter of 1.26 inches and a height of 0.31 inches, the diameter of AirTag is 1.26 inches and the height of AirTag is 8mm. AirTag is a very lightweight item, weighing only 0.39 ounces (11.1 grams).
Engraving on AirTags
As a user of an AirTag, you can engrave up to four letters or emoji characters. However, because of size restrictions, you cannot engrave more than one emoji at the same time. Apple, as part of its content filtering process, has also imposed limitations on certain emoji strings and phrases.
Unlike some other emojis, you cannot combine a Horse Face emoji with the Pile of Poo emoji, nor can you put curse words into an emoji.
Features of AirTags
Users can now add and manage AirTags through the “Items” tab of the Find My app with iOS 14.3. In the Find My app, each AirTag is displayed on a map so that you can see where it is located, just as it is displayed on other Apple devices. You can connect an AirTag to an iOS device or Mac through Bluetooth, just as you can with other Apple devices.
It has been added that Apple added a U1 chip in each AirTag so that you can get a precise location indoors or outdoors if it’s nearby, or its last known location if it’s not. With the speaker built into the AirTag, you can play a sound to find a lost AirTag around your house, and you can either play a sound through the Find My app or ask Siri to play a sound to find a lost AirTag.
The Find My network could help you locate an AirTag if it has been lost or stolen. There are hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices that have built-in location services which help locate an AirTag. When the AirTag is located on someone else’s device, it will show up on a map when the AirTag is found.
When an AirTag is in Lost Mode, it will automatically send a notification if it’s detected by someone within the Find My network. You can also include your contact information so that someone who finds your item will be able to call you for assistance.
The AirTags firmware is capable of being regularly updated, and this has been done numerous times since the launch of the AirTags.
Making a precise finding
With a U1 chip, iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models, as well as some Macs and PCs, you can take advantage of Precision Finding, a feature on your phone that can demonstrate precisely how to obtain your lost AirTag. A precision-finding system that combines augmented reality, sound, and haptic feedback can help you complete your task.
How to return a lost AirTag
It is possible to scan an AirTag with the help of any smartphone that has NFC functionality, with the help of any smartphone that is capable of detecting them so that the contact details can be displayed if the tags are located or found with an AirTag fitted.
You can do this with both Apple and Android devices, so if you find an object, simply scan it with your phone to locate its owner. When the AirTag is in Lost Mode, it will also relay its location back to the owner through the Find My network, in case the tag has been lost.
Alerts Regarding Separation
It’s in the iOS 15 version of the Find My app that you’re going to find Separation Alerts, which will notify you when you’ve left your Apple device behind, an AirTag attached to your device, or an AirTag linked to your device.
The Find My app allows you to set up Separation Alerts, so if you want to make sure that you always have your iPhone with you or that you never leave the house without your keys, this is the feature you need to set up.
The battery for AirTags
This wireless tag uses a replaceable CR2032 battery that can be replaced after a year without the need for a new one. For swapping out batteries on the AirTag, you can press and twist the back panel to pop off the AirTag, which allows you to reach the battery compartment.
A notification will appear on the AirTag when the battery is running low, informing you that you need to replace the battery.
Charging the AirTags
Apple has designed the AirTag to come with user-replaceable CR2032 batteries so that there is no need or way to charge the device.
The range of AirTags
The Apple Company has not yet provided details about the range of the AirTag, but the maximum Bluetooth range is approximately 100 meters, which would mean that the AirTag could be tracked at least up to that distance. It is going to take more experimentation to find out a more specific range of information.
Water resistance of AirTags
A key feature of AirTag is its IP67 water and dust resistance rating, which means that it can stand immersion in water up to one meter (3.3 feet) for 30 minutes under laboratory conditions, if necessary. Consequently, the AirTag can hold up to liquid exposure in the event of an accidental spill or the event of rain.
Setup of the AirTags
After an AirTag has been unboxed, it can be set up with a one-tap gesture similar to AirPods. You can customize each AirTag by adding a name as well as a description of the item it is used for.
Limitations on AirTag Ownership
Apple IDs can be associated with up to 16 AirTags at a time, which means you can keep track of 16 items at one time in one Apple ID.
Security and Privacy at AirTags
It is important to note that there is no way to track any AirTag that you own other than by linking it to your Apple ID. In addition to preventing location data and location history from being stored on the AirTag’s memory, devices relaying the location of a lost AirTag remain anonymous and all data related to a lost AirTag’s location is encrypted along the way.
It may be possible to see where your lost AirTag is on a map if it is found by someone else’s device, but you may not be able to identify the person who helped you find it. As a result of the end-to-end encryption, Apple does not know the exact location of AirTags.
Using the AirTag devices you will be able to keep track of your location at all times since the Bluetooth identifiers rotate frequently.
Stalking with AirTags
To prevent unauthorized use of the Apple AirTag, Apple has built-in security restrictions that prevent the AirTag from being used for any secret tracking or unintended purposes.
A planted AirTag will prevent someone from tracking you with a planted AirTag if it is found in your possessions and has been traveling with you for some time. Your iPhone will send you an alert to notify you if an AirTag was found near you, preventing someone from tracking you with a planted AirTag. Whenever you return to your home address, or to a location that you frequently visit, the AirTag you carry with you will send you an alert.
Therefore, you will see a notification that will inform you that “AirTag detected,” and you can tap the notification to disable the AirTag. If an AirTag is attached to an item that you are borrowing, it is possible to be deactivated from receiving “AirTag Detected” notifications for one day if the item is on rental. The Safety Alerts are turned off for family members that are in your Family Sharing group if it’s an item from a family member.
Alerts, when an AirTag is detected, are only triggered when its owner is separated from it, so you will not need to worry about your friends or family members with AirTags nearby. AirTags leave their owner’s possession for eight to twenty-four hours before playing a sound to alert their owners. In other words, you will be alerted if an AirTag is found in your possession, even when it is not yours.
According to multiple news reports, AirTags are being used for a variety of criminal activities including vehicle thefts, stalkings, and other nefarious acts, which has caused Apple to update the way AirTags operate to stop such exploitation.
There will be a new warning when setting up an AirTag soon, to prevent malicious use of the device. Apple will always provide details to law enforcement about who owns AirTags that are linked to Apple ID, since using it to track people is a crime, and law enforcement can request identifying information about the owner of AirTags, which Apple will readily provide.
Apple is also planning to introduce some new safety features in 2022 which are scheduled to be implemented later this year. AirTags will become more difficult to use for people tracking purposes as precision finding, better display alerts, and louder sounds will make it more difficult to use for people tracking.
- Apple’s Precision Finding feature enables iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 users who receive an unwanted tracking alert to locate an unknown AirTag with precision, similar to how AirTag owners can use the feature. When an unknown AirTag is within range, this feature will provide distance and direction to that AirTag, which will make it easier to locate it when it is within range.
- A sound will be played in case an AirTag is separated from its owner so those nearby are aware, and an alert will also be displayed on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch so that it can be easily located by sound and even Precision Finding if the feature is available. According to Apple, this feature will help if the AirTag sound is hard to hear or if the speaker has been compromised in any way.
- It has been announced that Apple will update its alert system shortly to notify users earlier that an unidentified AirTag or Find My network accessory is traveling with them.
- It is possible to make the AirTag play a louder sound when an iOS user receives an unwanted tracking alert so that it will be easier to locate the AirTag. AirTags are going to be louder and easier to locate once Apple changes the tone sequence so that it uses more of the loudest tones.
- Apple has a plan to release these new features this year, but no specific date has been set. They are currently in the works of being released this year.
The sharing of AirTags
Authenticated items that have an AirTag on them can be shared with someone else if you are intending to share them with someone in your Family Sharing group so that safety alerts are not triggered. The person who borrows the item has the option of temporarily disabling alerts if they are not a member of your family.
As far as sharing an AirTag is concerned, there is no additional feature besides disabling safety alerts that can be used. You can only track an AirTag associated with your Apple ID using your Find My app if it is linked to your Apple ID. Other people are not able to track your items, so spouses cannot track each other’s items, nor can parents track the items of their child.
Android Tracker Detect Mobile App
In December 2021, Apple announced that Tracker Detect, an app that would allow Android users to remotely scan for AirTags and other Find My enabled items using their devices, would arrive in the Google Play Store.
This is an app that Android users can use to ensure that they are not tracking themselves with AirTags or Find My-enabled accessories. Using the app, users will have the ability to locate any nearby AirTag, and users will even be able to play a sound on their AirTags or Find My-enabled accessories so they can be located. It also includes instructions for disabling an AirTag by removing the battery, which can be done through the app.
Traveling With AirTags
There are specific limitations that you should be aware of if you are thinking about using an AirTag while traveling We have compiled a list of the countries where Precision Finding will not work, such as Russia, Indonesia, and Argentina, with a link to the details in our AirTags travel guide.
Tracking of Pets and Children
Apple has designed the AirTags to track items, not people, so it is not recommended to use the AirTags to track pets or children. Apple recommends Apple Watches that use Family Setup as a means of keeping tabs on children.
NFC Shortcuts for AirTag
By using the built-in NFC chip in the AirTag, you can trigger automation by using Apple Shortcuts. An NFC-enabled iPhone can be paired with an AirTag by tapping the top of the phone on the white plastic side of the airbag. Users can create a shortcut to trigger that action.
Accessories for AirTag
There are many options available if you need an airbag holder, keychain, or other AirTag accessories to attach your AirTag to an item. Here is a dedicated AirTag accessory guide that features some of the most interesting options available.