Apple announces item tracker, AirTags

Published April 21, 2021, 8:45 AM

by Jonathan Castillo

AirTags

Apple will be releasing item tracking devices called AirTags.

These tiny devices are attached to items prone to getting lost, such as car keys and wallets. AirTags uses Apple’s U1 chip for ultra wideband technology for improved precision when locating items.

Sadly, the usage of U1 chip means AirTags is compatible with iPhones 11 and 12 only.

Through your phone, you can get visual directions to guide you where your lost item is. You can also get sound alerts and haptic feedback for more guidance.

If AirTag is separated from its owner and out of Bluetooth range, the Find My network can help track it down. The Find My network is approaching a billion Apple devices and can detect Bluetooth signals from a lost AirTag and relay the location back to its owner, all in the background, anonymously and privately.

Users can also place AirTag into Lost Mode and be notified when it is in range or has been located by the vast Find My network. If a lost AirTag is found by someone, they can tap it using their iPhone or any NFC-capable device and be taken to a website that will display a contact phone number for the owner, if they have provided one.

AirTag includes support for the accessibility features built into iOS. Precision Finding using VoiceOver, for example, can direct users who are blind or low-vision to AirTag with directions like “AirTag is 9 feet away on your left.”

When pairing AirTags, all you need to do is hold it close to your phone, and that’s it. As simple as pairing AirPods

Apple assures people that AirTags doesn’t store data or location histories. It’s also using end-to-end encryption between communications between AirTags and the Find My network.

 
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