By Trae Jacobs,
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Apple Air Tags are a small, round metal, disc shaped device to be used to attached to items such as keys, wallets and purses for easy location. They use a small C2032 battery with up to a year of battery life. When it’s time to replace the battery, you will be notified by your iPhone.
Apple Air Tags have a built-in speaker that can play a sound so that when you cannot locate the item they’re attached to, you can follow the sound and find it. They also have other features and ways of finding lost items if the missing item is out of hearing range.
They are similar in design and concept to the Tile location system, but done by Apple, they have many more bells and whistles. They can be bought individually or in sets of four. They are water resistant and can be personalized for free with initials or an emoji.
How Do They Work?
Apple Air Tags are relatively easy to set up and use. After pulling out the plastic tag on the C2032 battery and hold it near your iPhone or iPad. A window will pop up with a picture of a spinning AirTag and a connect button. Simply hit connect and it will now be connected to your phone through its Bluetooth and “Find My” app. It allows you to name each item it’s going to be placed on such as “keys” or “wallet.”
After attaching the Air Tag to your device or devices, a sound can be played on its built-in speaker by going to the new items tab in the “Find My” app or give Siri a command such as “hey Siri, find my keys.” If the lost item is within hearing range, it will emit a sound that you can then follow until you locate the item.
The Air Tag works by sending out a Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby devices in the Find My network. The devices then send the location of the missing item to the iCloud, and you then go to the Find My app to view it on a map.
Because Apple takes internet security very seriously, this process is anonymous and encrypted to ensure privacy. Location data and history are not stored on the AirTags themselves. Devices that share the Air Tag’s location are anonymous and the location data remains encrypted.
If the item you’re trying to locate is further away and the ping cannot be heard, it has a feature called Precision Finding.
It is compatible with:
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini
- iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
Precision Finding uses an Apple-designed U1 chip for Ultra Wideband technology to display the distance away your phone is. This is ideal for locating items that are too far away for the ping to be heard but not so far away that the Find My app has to be used.
This feature allows gives a precise distance away that the missing item is and displays it on your phone. For example, if your keys are under the couch in the living room, Precision Finding will display how many feet away they are and continue to update as you get nearer with prompts like “10 feet to your left.”
As with other Apple devices, Air Tags can be put into Lost Mode. When this is enabled, when the missing item’s Air Tag is detected, it sends a notification. These notifications can be set up on any Apple device, including the Apple watch.
There are several different accessories to go with the 1.26 inch by 0.31-inch, 39-ounce Air Tag. The devices are small enough that they can be slipped into a wallet or purse but to attach to other items, Apple offers:
- Air Tag leather keychains in red, green, brown, tan and blue
- Air Tag Loop in yellow, orange, blue and white
- Air Tag Leather Loop in the same five colors as the leather keychains
- Air Tag Hermes bag charm in brown, blue and orange
- Belkin Secure Holder with strap in pink, blue, white and black
- Air Tag Hermes key ring in orange, blue and brown
- Air Tag Hermes luggage tag in brown
The Apple Air Tags are an item that can most certainly make life a lot easier for a lot of people. With the ease of setup and the nearly foolproof ability to locate items by using a sound or more advanced features, they seem like a no-brainer for those of us that are chronically losing things and their size and shape allow them to be attached to just about anything.