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AirTag Buyers Guide: Everything You Need To Know About AirTags

If you’re in the market for high-quality GPS tracking devices that don’t look like they’re from the sixties, then AirTags are just what you need.

The Apple AirTag is a high-quality GPS tracking device that blows any of its competitors out of the water!

Whether you lose your keys way too often or you’re a Canadian man tracking your stolen car to Dubai, this guide will discuss whether the AirTag is something you need. 

Introduction to AirTags

AirTags are small, coin-sized tracking devices developed by Apple, designed to help you keep track of your belongings. 

Their compact size and integration with Apple’s Find My app make them incredibly versatile for a range of everyday uses.

While AirTags’ primary purpose is to help you keep track of commonly misplaced items like keys, wallets, and bags, their utility extends far beyond these everyday items.

Handy Uses of AirTags

First, we’ll get into some of the more practical yet less serious uses. 

Keys and Wallets

One of the most common uses for AirTags is attaching them to keys or slipping them into wallets. 

With the Find My app on your iPhone, you can easily locate these essential items when they go missing around the house or while you’re out and about.

Backpacks and Luggage

Traveling can be stressful, especially when you’re worried about losing track of your belongings in busy airports or crowded tourist attractions. 

By securing an Apple AirTag to your backpack or luggage, you can rest assured knowing that you can pinpoint their location with just a few taps on your phone.

Remote Controls

How many times have you spent precious minutes searching for the remote control buried in the sofa cushions? 

With an Apple AirTag attached, you can quickly locate your remote and get back to enjoying your favorite shows without delay.

More Serious Applications

Safety for Children

While it’s crucial to have fun with AirTags, they also serve practical purposes, such as ensuring the safety of children. 

Attaching an AirTag to your child’s backpack or clothing can provide an added layer of security, allowing you to monitor their location and quickly locate them in case they become lost.

Protection Against Theft

AirTags can act as a deterrent against theft, especially when attached to valuable items like laptops or bicycles. 

If your belongings are ever stolen, you can use the Find My app to track them down and retrieve them with the help of law enforcement.

Assistance for Elderly Relatives

For elderly relatives who may wander or become disoriented, AirTags offers a valuable tool for caregivers. By attaching an AirTag discreetly to their belongings or clothing, caregivers can track their whereabouts and ensure their safety at all times.

How AirTags Work

AirTags are small, lightweight tracking devices designed by Apple to help users locate and keep track of their belongings. 

They utilize a combination of technologies to provide precise location information and seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem. 

Let’s explore how AirTags work in detail:

Bluetooth Connectivity and Precision Finding

AirTags rely on Bluetooth connectivity to establish a connection with a user’s iPhone or other devices. Once paired, users can track the location of their AirTagged items using the Find My app on their device. 

  • Proximity Tracking: When an AirTag is within range of a user’s device, the Find My app displays the item’s approximate location on a map. 
  • Precision Finding: AirTags incorporate Precise Finding technology, which utilizes a combination of Bluetooth, UWB, and visual and auditory cues to guide users directly to the precise location of their tagged item. Precision 

Precisie Finding finding provides step-by-step directions and real-time distance feedback, making it easier to locate items even in crowded or cluttered environments.

Ultra-Wideband (UWB) Technology

AirTags are equipped with UWB technology, which enables more precise and accurate location tracking compared to traditional Bluetooth alone. 

UWB technology emits short-range, low-power radio waves that can accurately measure the distance between devices with UWB capabilities.

Spatial Awareness

UWB allows AirTags and compatible IOS devices to accurately determine the relative position of tagged items within a three-dimensional space. This spatial awareness enables more precise location tracking, even in complex environments with multiple obstacles.

Directional Tracking

UWB technology enables directional tracking, allowing users to pinpoint the exact direction of a misplaced item relative to their current location. This feature enhances the overall accuracy and efficiency of the tracking process, especially in situations where visual cues may be limited.

Integration with Find My Network and Privacy Features

AirTags leverage the vast network of IOS devices through the Find My network, enabling users to locate their tagged items even when out of range.

  • Find My Network Integration: If an AirTagged item is out of range, it can still be located using the Find My network. 
  • Privacy Features: AirTags incorporate privacy features to protect user data and prevent unauthorized tracking.

Other nearby devices, such as iPhones, iPads, and Macs, anonymously detect the AirTag’s signal and relay its location back to the owner via iCloud.

Privacy features include audible avoiding unwanted tracking alerts on nearby iPhones indicating the presence of an unknown AirTag, as well as proactive measures to prevent unwanted tracking. 

Additionally, AirTags automatically change their Bluetooth identifiers over time to further enhance privacy and security.

Comparing AirTags to Similar Products

When it comes to tracking devices, AirTags stand out among competitors like Tile trackers due to their integration into the Apple ecosystem, lack of subscription fees, unique customization options, and superior precision in location tracking.

Tile vs. AirTag in 2023

  • Integration into the Apple Ecosystem

AirTags enjoy seamless integration with other devices, such as iPhones, iPads, and Macs, through the Find My app. This integration allows users to effortlessly track and locate their tagged items using familiar Apple interfaces, providing a consistent and user-friendly experience across all devices.

  • Find My App Integration: AirTags are fully integrated into the Find My app, which is pre-installed on all devices
  • Siri Integration: AirTags can be located using voice commands through Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant. 
  • Cost and Additional Features

One of the key advantages of AirTags over Tile trackers is the absence of subscription fees and additional costs associated with full functionality.

  • No Subscription Fees: Unlike some competitors, AirTags do not require users to purchase a subscription or pay ongoing fees to access all features and functionalities. 
  • Engraving Options: AirTags can be personalized with custom engravings, including emojis, letters, or symbols, making them not only functional but also customizable and expressive. 
  • Superior Precision and Accuracy

AirTags offer unmatched precision and accuracy in location tracking, thanks to advanced technologies such as Ultra-Wideband (UWB) and Precise Finding.

  • Precise Locator with >1ft Accuracy: AirTags utilize Ultra-Wideband technology and Precision Finding to provide precise Bluetooth trackers with accuracy down to less than one foot.
  • Superior Performance Compared to Tile: While Tile trackers offer basic tracking functionality, they lack the advanced features and precision of AirTags. 
  • Ways Tile Devices Are Better

We can’t truly call this a fair review if you don’t also cover ways in which Tile devices are better. We’ve given almost six ways to Apple AirTags are better. Let’s give some credit to slim

  • Friendly for Android users: One of the main reasons users choose the Tile Slim, Tile Pro device is that AirTags are most effective on devices.
  • Wide range of devices: Tile offers a wide range of devices, from the Tile Slim and Tile Pro to the Tile Mate. 
  • More functional design: Any Tile tracker comes with a more functional keychain hole. What’s more, their Bluetooth tracker is more square shaped so they are much more functional than traditional devices.
  • Simple Tile App: Once you have the Tile app installed, it’s very simple to start using the product, even though the non-premium version is much more restricted.

Feature

AirTag

Tile Mate

Tile Slim

Tile Sticker

Tile Pro

Compatibility

Works with Apple devices

iOS, Android

iOS, Android

iOS, Android

iOS, Android

Size

Small, coin-sized

Compact

Slim, card-shaped

Small, adhesive

Compact

Battery Life

Up to 1 year

1 year

3 years

3 years

1 year

Replaceable Battery

Yes

No

No

No

No

Tracking Range

Bluetooth range (~100 ft)

Bluetooth range

Bluetooth range

Bluetooth range

Bluetooth range

Precision Finding

Yes

No

No

No

No

Integration with App

Find My app

Tile app

Tile app

Tile app

Tile app

Privacy Features

Rotating Bluetooth IDs

Limited

Limited

Limited

Limited

Unwanted Tracking Alerts

Yes

No

No

No

No

Compatibility with Tile Network

Not applicable

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

 

AirTags’ integration into the Apple ecosystem, lack of subscription fees, customization options, and precise location tracking capabilities make them a superior choice for users seeking a reliable and user-friendly no unwanted tracking solution. Even though of all Tile trackers, the Tile Slim is the one to watch out for, realistically, no Tile tracker can be as good as the AirTag.

Setting Up Your AirTags

Setting up your Bluetooth trackers is straightforward. You pair them with your iPhone or other compatible Apple device using the Find My app. This section will guide you through the steps required to set up your AirTags and start using them to track your belongings effectively.

Pairing Your AirTags with Your iPhone

  1. Open the Find My App: Begin by opening the Find My app on your iPhone or iPad. If you haven’t already installed the app, you can download it from the App Store.
  2. Tap on “Add New Item”: In the Find My app, tap on the “Items” tab at the bottom of the screen, then select “Add New Item.”
  3. Follow the On-Screen Instructions: The Find My app will guide you through the setup process. Hold your Apple AirTag close to your device and follow the on-screen instructions to pair it with your iPhone.

Assigning Names and Customizing Settings

Assign a Name to Your AirTag: Once your Apple AirTag is paired with your device, you can assign a name to it based on the item you intend to track. This could be your keys, wallet, backpack, or any other item you want to keep tabs on.

  • Customize Notifications and Alerts: You can customize notifications and alerts for each AirTag to suit your preferences. 
  • Enable Lost Mode: Lost Mode allows you to remotely track the location of your AirTagged item and receive notifications when it is found by another Apple device. 

Attaching Your AirTags to Belongings

  • Attach AirTags to Your Belongings: Once your AirTags are set up and customized, it’s time to attach them to your belongings. 
  • Optimize Placement for Better Tracking: To ensure optimal tracking performance, consider the placement of your AirTags on your belongings. 

Tips for Maximizing AirTag Effectiveness

To make the most out of your AirTags and ensure efficient tracking of your belongings, consider implementing the following tips:

  1. Secure Attachment: Attach AirTags to items using key rings, adhesive mounts, or custom accessories to prevent them from getting detached or lost.
  2. Hidden Placement: Conceal AirTags within the item or attach them discreetly to avoid detection by potential thieves.
  3. Avoid Metal Surfaces: AirTags should be placed away from metal surfaces, as metal can interfere with Bluetooth and UWB signals.
  4. Check Battery Life: Monitor the replaceable battery life of your AirTags regularly using the Find My app and replace batteries when necessary to ensure uninterrupted tracking.
  5. Test Tracking Functionality: Periodically test the tracking functionality of your AirTags by intentionally misplacing items and locating them using the Find My app.
  6. Update Firmware: Keep your AirTags up to date by installing firmware updates released by Apple to ensure optimal performance and compatibility.
  7. Enable Notifications: Enable notifications for when an AirTag is detected near your device to receive alerts if someone else’s AirTag is in close proximity.
  8. Customize Item Names: Assign custom names to your AirTagged items in the Find My app for easy identification and organization.
  9. Set Safe Locations: Define safe locations for frequently visited areas to prevent unnecessary alerts when your items are within designated zones.

Future Developments and Updates for AirTags

As Apple continues to innovate and improve its ecosystem of products and services, the future of AirTags holds exciting possibilities. 

Here are some anticipated developments and updates that users can look forward to:

Enhanced Integration with Find My App

Apple is likely to introduce new features and capabilities for AirTags within the Find My app. This may include improved tracking accuracy, customizable notifications, and advanced settings for managing multiple AirTags.

Expect tighter integration between AirTags and other devices, such as iPhone, iPad, and Mac. 

This could enable seamless tracking and management of AirTags across other Apple devices, enhancing the overall user experience.

Apple may open the Find My platform to third-party developers, allowing them to integrate their apps and services with AirTags. 

This could unlock new use cases and functionalities, expanding AirTags’ versatility beyond traditional item tracking.

Advanced Privacy and Security Features

Every day people are getting more aware of the exposure of their data on the internet. So it makes sense that Apple should take action and intensify the security and privacy aspect of their devices. 

Here are some ways to do that:

  • Privacy Enhancements: Apple is committed to protecting user privacy, and future updates for AirTags are likely to include additional privacy features. 
  • Security Improvements: To prevent potential security vulnerabilities and address concerns about stalking or tracking, Apple may introduce new security measures for AirTags. 
  • Integration with Apple’s Privacy Ecosystem: AirTags may leverage Apple’s existing privacy ecosystem, such as iCloud Keychain and App Tracking Transparency.

Innovation in Design and Functionality

Apple may explore ways to make AirTags even smaller and more discreet, allowing users to track items without adding bulk or weight. This could involve advancements in battery technology, miniaturization of components, and optimization of the design.

Future iterations of AirTags may feature enhanced durability to withstand harsh environments and outdoor use. This could include ruggedized casing, water resistance, and impact protection, ensuring reliable performance in various conditions.

Troubleshooting Common AirTag Issues

AirTags are generally reliable tracking devices, but users may encounter occasional issues that can impact their functionality. Understanding common AirTag issues and how to troubleshoot them can help users resolve problems quickly and effectively.

AirTag Not Detected or Connecting

  • Ensure AirTag is within range (approximately 100 feet).
  • Check AirTag battery status in Find My app.
  • Try resetting AirTag by removing and reinserting battery.
  • Restart iPhone or other Apple device and try reconnecting AirTag.
  • Check for any physical obstructions or interference that may be blocking the Bluetooth signal.

Inaccurate or Intermittent Tracking

  • Ensure AirTag firmware is up to date in the Find My app.
  • Check for any software updates for iPhone or other Apple device.
  • Test tracking accuracy in different environments to rule out interference.
  • Try recalibrating the Precisie Finding feature in the Find My app settings.
  • Replace AirTag battery if low or depleted.

Unwanted Notifications or Privacy Concerns

  • Disable “Item Detected Near You” notifications in Find My app settings.
  • Enable Privacy Alerts to receive notifications if an unknown AirTag is detected near you.
  • Check AirTag privacy settings to ensure only authorized users can track your items.
  • Remove any unknown AirTags from your account in the Find My app.
  • Contact Apple Support if you suspect unauthorized tracking or privacy violations.

Using AirTags with Different Devices

AirTags are designed to seamlessly integrate with a variety of devices and platforms, enhancing their versatility and functionality. Here’s how you can use AirTags with different devices:

  • iPhone

AirTags are tightly integrated with the Find My app on iPhone, providing a seamless tracking experience. Users can easily pair AirTags with their iPhones and track the location of their belongings in real time using the Find My app.

iPhone users can take advantage of precise finding, a feature that uses the Ultra Wideband technology in newer iPhone models to provide precise directions to the location of an AirTag. This makes it easier to locate lost items with accuracy. A feature which is the Tile Slim and Tile Pro, Tile Mate, and Tile Tracker.

In case an item with an AirTag attached goes missing, users can enable Lost Mode in the Find My app. This bluetooth trackers feature notifies them when the item is found and allows them to view its location on a map.

  • iPad and Mac

AirTags can be tracked using the Find My app on iPad and Mac as well. This allows users to keep track of their belongings even when they’re using their iPad or Mac instead of their iPhone.

With macOS Monterey, Apple introduced new features that enhance the integration of AirTags with Mac devices. Users can see the location of their AirTags directly in the Find My app on their Mac and receive notifications when they’re nearby.

  • Apple Watch

Apple Watch users can also track AirTags using the Find My app on their watch. This allows for convenient tracking of items directly from the wrist, making it easier to locate lost belongings while on the go.

The Ping feature on Apple Watch allows users to quickly locate nearby AirTags by playing a sound. This is particularly useful when trying to find misplaced items in close proximity.

  • Android Devices

While AirTags are designed to work seamlessly with Apple devices, they can also be used with Android devices to some extent. 

However, Android users will have limited functionality compared to iPhone users, as they won’t have access to features like Precisie Finding or the full capabilities of the Find My app.

Android users can still track AirTags using Bluetooth, but they won’t have access to the full suite of features available on devices.

  • NFC-Enabled Devices

AirTags are equipped with NFC technology, allowing them to be scanned by NFC-enabled devices. Users can tap their NFC-enabled smartphone or device to an AirTag to quickly view its owner information or contact details.

  • Bluetooth Devices

AirTags communicate with nearby devices using Bluetooth technology. This means they can be tracked using any Bluetooth-enabled device, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

  • Smart Home Devices

AirTags can be integrated with Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem, allowing users to track their belongings using HomeKit-compatible smart home devices. 

This opens up possibilities for automating tasks based on the location of items tagged with AirTags.

  • Third-Party Apps

Apple has opened up the Find My network to third-party developers, allowing them to create apps and services that leverage AirTags for tracking purposes. 

This enables users to track their belongings using a wide range of third-party apps and services, further enhancing AirTags’ versatility.

Conclusion

AirTags represent a revolutionary solution to the age-old problem of losing track of our belongings. 

With its compact design, advanced technology, and seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem, AirTags offers a versatile and user-friendly way to monitor the things that matter most. 

From everyday items like keys and wallets to more serious applications such as ensuring the safety of children and elderly relatives, AirTags provide peace of mind in a world full of distractions and uncertainties. 

As Apple continues to innovate and improve upon the AirTag experience, users can expect even more exciting developments in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly do AirTags do?

AirTags are small tracking devices developed by Apple that help you locate and keep track of your belongings. 

They attach to items such as keys, wallets, bags, or even pets and then use Bluetooth connectivity to communicate with nearby devices. 

Through the Find My app on your iPhone or other devices, you can track the location of your AirTagged items, helping you locate them if they go missing.

How far away will AirTags work?

AirTags work within range, which is typically around 100 feet (30 meters) in an open space.

However, the actual range can vary depending on factors such as environmental conditions and obstructions like walls or furniture. 

If an AirTag is out of Bluetooth range, it can still be located using the Find My network, which leverages the vast network of devices to help locate lost items.

Can I be tracked with an AirTag?

AirTags are designed with privacy and security in mind, and they cannot be used to track individuals without their knowledge or consent. 

If someone attempts to use an AirTag to track you without your permission, your iPhone will notify you of the presence of an unknown AirTag nearby. 

Additionally, AirTags incorporate privacy features such as rotating Bluetooth identifiers and audible alerts to prevent unauthorized tracking.

Does AirTag have GPS?

While AirTags do not have built-in GPS technology, they utilize a combination of Bluetooth connectivity, Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology, and the Find My network to provide precise location tracking. 

This allows AirTags to accurately determine the location of tagged items within Bluetooth range and beyond, using the Find My network to extend tracking capabilities even when out of range.

What is the second-best smart tracking device?

The likely second-best Bluetooth trackers are the Tile Mate and Tile Pro or Tile Slim. They are quality products that offer real-time location data. 

Tile trackers have a much larger selection of devices. You can choose between the elegant Tile Slim, the simple Tile Mate, or the Tile Pro. 

Some functionalities that a Tile tracker offers are something not even Apple has managed to do. 

Another great addition is the Tile sticker. You can put them on anything you want to make sure you find. The Tile sticker is basically just a QR code that people can scan. The Tile Pro also works with stickers.

Once someone scans one of your Tile sticker, they get your contact information, which can sometimes save you some lost devices.

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