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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Apple Airtags: Everything You Need to Know

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Apple’s most recent smart device is the AirTag, a small, disc-shaped tracker that can help you find lost or stolen items using the Find My app.

The price is $ 29 for one or $ 99 for a four-piece set and can be engraved for free with letters or an image of your desire.

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Accessories, such as luggage tags, key rings, and buckles that hold the device together are sold separately.

AirTags use ultra-wideband technology and leverages Apple’s existing network of devices that function as call beacons to locate a missing item.

Here’s what you need to know before putting AirTag on anything you own.

Table of Contents

Which iPhones and OS work with AirTags?

Compatible iPhones & iPads can use the Find My app to find the approximate location of a missing item equipped with AirTag.

However, to keep up with AirTag, you need to have iOS 14.5 or later on the iPhone or iPadOS 14.5+ on the tablet.

(This update works with iPhone 6s and later, including first and second-generation iPhones and SEs, and most iPads.) Update this by going to Settings> General> Software Update.

However, to use Precision Search, which can take you to your device via onscreen instructions, you need an iPhone 11 or 12.

These models use a camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope for a more “targeted” search experience according to Apple.

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How to configure Apple AirTags

Installation is straightforward.

Take the device out of the box & pull the tab to activate the AirTag. Keep it near your compatible mobile device, which will recognize the tracker and ask you to set it up, like an AirPods or HomePod device.

You can afterward name your AirTag after the device that will be in charge of tracking. Then AirTag registers to your Apple ID; that’s it.

Do I have to recharge my AirTag?

No. According to Apple, the AirTag battery stays up for a year before it needs to be replaced. Surprisingly, the battery is not an exclusive purchase from Apple; AirTags use a CR2032 base battery, which you can purchase at various physical stores and online.

Remove the battery by pushing in and twisting the back panel of the AirTag.

Are AirTags using my position?

If you think Apple is tracking your location and has turned off location services on your devices, you won’t be able to use AirTags. Apple needs your location so that it can tell you where your lost item is.

To turn on Find My Location tracking, go to Settings> Privacy> Location services, then toggle the switch at the top of the screen to On.

Scroll down to find me in the apps list and make sure it’s set to While using the app.

How does Apple find lost AirTags?

AirTags do not incorporate a GPS chip like your iPhone. However, Apple used its proprietary U1 chip with ultra-broadband technology to create a peer-to-peer network that operates 1.65 billion Apple devices in the wild to locate the AirTag.

How can I find AirTag?

Select and open the Find My App on your Apple device to locate the tracker’s location on the map. With the app, you can play the AirTag sound to help you locate an item if it is nearby.

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If you own an iPhone 11 or 12, you can tap Search and go to precise search.

It will tell you how far away you are from the object and guide you through the onscreen instructions.

If you can’t find the tracker in the Find Me app, you can put it in lost mode and create a custom message that will display when another user finds your AirTag.

When you hold the AirTag near your phone, your message, such as your contact details, will appear on your device, and hopefully, a Good Samaritan will respond.

It will work on any NFC-enabled device, which means Android owners can help recover lost air tags as well.

Can I see devices near my AirTag?

AirTags uses Apple’s network devices to find missing devices, but according to Apple, “location data or location history is not physically stored in AirTag.

Conveying with the “Find My network” is end-to-end encrypted, So only the owner of the device has access to their location data, and no one, including Apple, knows the identity or location of any device that helped find it.”

In other words, the owner of an AirTag cannot determine the location of their own AirTag, not of any other nearby Apple device.

Can I share AirTags through Family Sharing?

Family Sharing enables up to five family members to share purchases from iTunes, the App Store, and Apple Books, as well as a family subscription to Apple Music and iCloud storage.

You can as well share your location with Family Location Sharing and help family members find lost Apple devices using the Find Me app.

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So you might think it would be of help for a member of your family can help you locate the AirTag from your device.

But unfortunately, AirTags are locked to Apple ID to prevent unwanted tracking, so only you have the power to track AirTags.

How can I remove AirTag from my Apple ID?

Since your AirTag is saved and synced to your Apple ID during the setup, only you can remove it.

Open Find My App, click the Items tab, & select AirTag from the list. Tap Remove item to allow someone else to use it.

This implies that if your AirTag (and the device it’s connected to) is lost or stolen, the person who finds it can’t just connect it to their device.

Can AirTags be used for tracking?

One of the main concerns with AirTags and other small tracking devices is tracking people, not devices.

Air tags are small, so pendants or backpacks are not valid, but it also means they are easy to put in someone’s purse.

In theory, a stalker or abusive spouse could monitor someone’s home from their own Apple device.

To tackle this issue, the Find My app will alert you on your Apple device if it detects an AirTag that is not attached to your Apple ID and separate from its owner traveling with you.

You will then have the choice to turn off the AirTag or play the sound so that you can locate it. However, your device will need to have iOS 14.5+.

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This, of course, won’t be useful for Android users who have AirTag in their stuff. Apple says the AirTag will automatically play the sound if it is separated from the owner “for a long time,” which is presently set at three days.

“As far as we can find out, AirTags can be used to seamlessly track who you live with during the day, as long as they come back to you at night,” we wrote in our AirTag review. “This is also possible with the Samsung label … and the only reason it is less possible with the table is that the Tile network is not very good. Jiobits and other GPS trackers can be used in the same way.”

Are AirTags compatible with Android devices?

Android users cannot save an AirTag with their device, but as mentioned above, the NFC feature on Android phones allows them to connect to lost AirTags and view messages in a lost mode so that they can restore them.

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Fadehan Emmanuel
Moore is an associate contributor of Xplorion. Got a NEWS TIP related to this story or to anything else in the world of big tech? Please e-mail him: mooreplug[at]gmail.com. You can also connect with him via the connections below the box.
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