Apple in April 2021 unveiled its long awaited AirTag after years of rumors and speculation. The small circular tag is designed to be attached to items like keys and wallets to allow these accessories to be tracked using Bluetooth right alongside Apple devices in the Find My app.
A single AirTag is priced at $29, and a package of four AirTags can be purchased for $99.
AirTags are available directly from Apple, and that price point does not include the accessories needed to attach the AirTag to an item. Apple sells AirTags accessories separately, and there are also several third-party options.
AirTags Release Date
AirTags will be available for preorder at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time on Friday, April 23. AirTags will then launch the following week on Friday, April 30
The AirTag is a small, button-shaped tracking device with a glossy white front that can be customized with an engraving and a silver backing. AirTags are designed around the CR2032 batteries that are inside, and need additional accessories to attach to an item.
AirTag measures in at 1.26 inches in diameter, and it has a height of 0.31 inches, or 8mm. It weighs 0.39 ounces (11 grams).
Each AirTag can be engraved with up to four letters or emoji characters, though there are some restrictions on multiple emoji due to size limitations. There are also limitations on some emoji strings and phrases due to Apple’s content filtering.
You can’t, for example, pair a Horse Face emoji with the Pile of Poo emoji, nor can you use curse words.
AirTags are added and managed in the Find My app under the “Items” tab that Apple introduced in iOS 14.3. Like other Apple devices, each AirTag is displayed on a map in the Find My app so you can see its location. AirTags connect to your iOS and macOS devices over Bluetooth.
Apple added a U1 chip in each AirTag so you can see its precise location indoors or out if it’s nearby, or its last known location if it is not. There are built-in speakers to play a sound to find a lost AirTag in the house, and you can either play a sound through the Find My app or ask Siri to find an AirTag with a sound.
If an AirTag is lost or stolen, the Find My network can help you find it. The Find My Network takes advantage of hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices to help you locate an AirTag, with the AirTag showing up on a map when it is located by someone else’s device.
In Lost Mode, an AirTag will automatically send out a notification when it’s detected by someone in the Find My network, and you can add your contact info so someone who finds your item can get in touch with you.
iPhones with a U1 chip, which includes the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 12 models, can take advantage of Precision Finding, a feature that lets you see specific instructions on how to get to your lost AirTag. Precision finding combines AR, sound, and haptic feedback to help you out.
Returning a Lost AirTag
If you come across a lost AirTag, or if someone comes across your lost AirTag, it can be scanned with any smartphone that’s equipped with NFC to bring up contact information.
This works on iPhones and Android devices, so if you find an item, give it a scan to locate the owner. If in Lost Mode, the AirTag will also relay its location back to the owner through the Find My network.
AirTags use a replaceable CR2032 battery that is designed to last about a year before it needs to be replaced. The batteries are user replaceable, and to swap out a battery, you can press and twist on the back panel of the AirTag to pop it off.
There is no need or way to charge an AirTag because Apple designed them with user replaceable CR2032 batteries.
Apple has not yet provided details the range of the AirTag, but the maximum Bluetooth range is around 100 meters, so an AirTag should be trackable at least to that distance. More experimentation will be necessary to find more specific range information.
AirTags Water Resistance
The AirTag features an IP67 water and dust resistance rating, which means it can withstand immersion in water up to one meter (3.3 feet) for 30 minutes in laboratory conditions. That means the AirTag will hold up well to liquid exposure from rain or accidental spills.
As with AirPods, setting up an AirTag can be done with a one-tap gesture after it’s unboxed. Each AirTag can be customized with a name and an item description.
AirTags Privacy and Security
Each AirTag you own is linked to your Apple ID and no one else can track it. Location data and location history are not stored on the AirTag, and devices that relay the location of a lost AirTag stay anonymous and location data is encrypted every step of the way.
You may see where your lost AirTag is on a map if it’s picked up by someone else’s device, but you won’t know the identity of the person that helps find it. Apple also does not see where AirTags are located because of the end-to-end encryption.
AirTags have unique Bluetooth identifiers that rotate frequently, a feature that ensures you’re never tracked from place to place.
Unwanted Tracking Prevention
Apple has built in security restrictions that are designed to prevent an AirTag for being used for unwanted and secretive tracking purposes.