A brand-new way to keep track of your keys, cards and other easily misplaced essentials, Apple’s new AirTags are one of the latest accessories for iPhones. Released officially after their 2021 Spring event, AirTags are essentially small tracking devices that link to your iPhone’s Find My app.
Introducing the AirTag
Measuring just over 1 inch in diameter, and weighing only 11g, AirTags are extremely compact devices – making them easy to attach to your belongings. They don’t have hooks or loops – and feature a smooth, sealed design with IP67 dust and water resistance. Instead, you can use Apple (or third-party) attachments, like keyring holders and luggage labels, to secure your tag wherever you need it.
You can rely on the AirTag to keep an eye on your goods for a long while, thanks to the standard replaceable CR2032 coin cell battery. The initial battery should keep you going for around a year, before it needs swapping out.
On one side of the Apple AirTag you’ll find a simple, white covering – and on the other, a stainless-steel face. If you buy directly from Apple, you can choose to engrave the plastic side with initials or emojis, bringing that element of fun we’ve learned to expect from the iPhone manufacturer.
How do AirTags work?
AirTags connect to Apple’s Find My app, so you’ll be able to spot them on a map if you’ve left something behind. They use a multitude of tracking methods, depending on how far from your iPhone they find themselves.
If your missing item is hiding nearby, be it buried in the sofa or under the bed, your iPhone will link to your AirTag via Bluetooth, then present its location on the Find My map. If you’re still struggling, use the Find My sounding feature to make your AirTag ring – it’ll play a loud beeping sound that’s sure to lead you right to your missing essentials.
Every AirTag features the Apple-designed U1 chip with Ultra Wideband technology, which allows users with compatible models (iPhone 11 or later) to access the Precision Finding feature. With this, you’ll have access to detailed directions towards it, using your phone’s camera, ARKit, accelerometer and gyroscope to measure the distance and direction between you and your possessions. You’ll be able to follow arrows and visual instructions, with sound and haptic feedback letting you know if you’re getting hotter or colder.
It’s all well and good if you’ve lost your items in the house or close by, but Bluetooth doesn’t have the range to keep you connected if your items are left further afield. That’s where Lost Mode comes in.
When your AirTag is out of range, it cleverly uses Apple’s secure and anonymous Find My network. When in Lost Mode, your tag will ping its location to any other Apple devices in the area, which then forward details directly to your own app. From here, you can track down your lost belongings – and if someone else finds your tag in the meantime, they can use NFT to view your contact details on their phones.
While an attachable GPS device is the answer to the forgetful user’s prayers, Apple has also introduced safety features that prevent theft or unwanted tracking. If someone picks up your keys, or slips an AirTag into your bag to follow you, the tag will know it’s following the wrong owner.
The Find My app will notify you if an unauthorised tag has been travelling with you for a prolonged period – or one of your tags is following someone else. If the tag remains in the wrong hands over an extended period, it’ll start sounding to reveal itself – NFC devices will then be able to read the device, and find disabling advice.
Feeling forgetful, and fancy using AirTags to keep track of your stuff? You’ll need a compatible iPhone – you can find plenty of amazing Apple deals and SIM-only plans with Mobiles.co.uk.