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Apple is best known for its , and of course, . But now it also makes a tiny tracker called . (( .) You attach it to an object like your keys and can keep track of where it is being used .
This type of tracker isn’t new. The biggest selling point for the AirTag, however, is Apple’s Find My networkmade up of hundreds of millions of Apple devices. Last week the this can be used by the network for items such as bicycles and headphones. This only increases the number of devices in Find My and makes it even more robust. And that’s important because let’s say you lost your keys and had an AirTag attached to them. As soon as someone is using another device on the Find My network, such as a If, for example, an iPhone crosses its path, the AirTag communicates securely with the iPhone in the background to update the location of your lost keys. AirTags is basically a framework that shows the strength and reach of Apple’s Find My network.
AirTags work with any iPhone or iPodTouch iOS 14.5 or a on iPadOS 14.5. A single AirTag is $ 29 (£ 29, AU $ 45) and a four-pack is $ 99 (£ 99, AU $ 149). You can order an AirTag from Friday April 23rd. AirTags will be available from April 30th.
An AirTag is slightly larger than a Junior Mint
I can’t stress how small an AirTag is. It weighs about two quarters. It’s larger in diameter than a Junior Mint, Milk Dud, or Mento, but not by much. One side is white, the other is made of stainless steel. And it feels well done. In fact, it’s valuedfor dust and water resistance, and can survive being immersed in one meter for 30 minutes.
Behind the stainless steel back is a replaceable CR2032 battery that Apple claims will last a year. Each AirTag comes with one already installed. When it starts to get low, your iPhone will receive a notification. And CR2032 batteries are common. I think it’s good that Apple decided to make the battery replaceable and easily accessible.
Get an AirTag setup with your iPhone
Setting up your AirTag is easy. Just pull the battery tab, bring it near your iPhone, and tap the Connect button. It’s similar to Set up a pair of AirPods. I had to update my iPhone to iOS 14.5, sign into my iCloud account, and check the lock code on my iPhone. But even with the extra steps, it was a straightforward process.
From there you will be asked to name it. For example, I named my AirTag “Key” because I attached it to my keys. I know original. (We have.)
Apple AirTags: See one of the smallest Apple products ever
Find an AirTag by playing a carillon
Once the AirTag is tied to your Apple ID, you can use the My Search app and interact with it on the Items tab. To help you find your item, you can ping the attached AirTag and play a sound. The AirTag uses its surface as a sound actuator to generate sound so there are no tiny speaker grilles.
For example, even if you haven’t opened the Find My app on your iPhone, you can say, “Hey Siri, where are my keys? “The AirTag sounds in response.
The AirTag uses Precision Finding to guide you there
But it’s getting better. If you have an iPhone 11 or 12, you can use Precision Finding to find your AirTag. And that’s because, like the iPhone 11 and 12, the AirTag has one U1 ultra wideband chip to determine the exact distance and direction to get you there. A really cool interface will appear on your iPhone that will take you to the article and the AirTag. It uses the iPhone’s cameras, its ARKit software, its accelerometer and gyroscope, and data from the AirTag to create a visual guide that uses haptics and sound to guide you to your lost item. Precision Finding works within Bluetooth Range of the AirTag.
If someone finds a lost AirTag, they can interact with it using NFC
When your AirTag is far away, you can put it into Lost Mode, which allows you to enter a phone number. If someone comes across the AirTag, they can tap it with an NFC phone (iOS or Android). This will take you to a website with contact information.
AirTags do not save your location data
You are the only one who can see where your AirTag is. Location data or histories are not stored on the AirTag itself. When the AirTag comes into contact with another Find My device such as an iPhone, location information is encrypted and transmitted anonymously.
Nobody, not even Apple, knows the location of your AirTag or the identity of the Find My device that was used to find it. All bluetooth signals rotate frequently so that other people cannot use them to track you.
AirTags cannot involuntarily track another person
There are people who want to use the anonymity and privacy of the AirTag to track another person without their knowing. Apple has developed a number of features to help prevent unwanted tracking.
Any AirTag that is disconnected from its owner for a period of time will emit a tone to notify you when it is moved. You don’t need an iPhone or Android phone to be notified of someone else’s AirTag. Let’s say I put my AirTag in your pocket and leave. As soon as that AirTag moves, a tone will play notifying you so you can find it. You can use any iOS or Android phone with NFC to interact with and get information about my AirTag (such as when it’s in lost mode) or see instructions on how to remove and disable the battery.
In addition, your iPhone or iOS device can warn you of the presence of an AirTag that has been disconnected from its owner. You can then play a sound on the unknown AirTag to help locate it. There’s a little bit of a ““What is going on here with the AirTag, but on the simplest level, even without a telephone, unwanted AirTags are to be found.
Using AirTags on Pets or Children
As soon as AirTags were announced, I saw friends online joking about how to dress their child or dog or whatever. When you attach this to a pet, they must be within Bluetooth range of a device on the Find My network for their location to be updated. This is not very useful if your dog ran into the woods.
For children, the AirTag is intended for objects, such as your child’s rucksack. The built-in tracking prevention features mentioned above mean that an AirTag is not the best option for keeping Dibs at your child’s location. You’d better use one Apple Watch with family setup.
AirTags are small and can be put in a pocket for example. Apple also sells a few accessories for the AirTag that you can use to attach it to a variety of items:
I have to use an AirTag for about eight hours which is not a lot. I look forward to trying it out longer and will be back with an in-depth review when I’ve had more time with the AirTag.