Air Tags: Apple’s Item Trackers – Everything We Know

Apple unveiled its long-awaited Air Tag in April 2021 after years of rumor and speculation. The small circular tag is designed to be attached to items such as keys and wallets, allowing these accessories to be tracked right next to Apple devices in the Find My app via Bluetooth.

Air Tags price

A single Air Tag costs $29, and a pack of four Air Tags can be purchased for $99.

Air Tags are available directly from Apple, and this price does not include the accessories needed to attach the Air Tag to an item. Apple sells Air Tags accessories separately, and there are several third-party options as well.

Third-party vendors like Amazon and Best Buy also offer Air Tags for sale.

Air Tag Ratings

Before the Air Tags were introduced, media representatives were able to test them and first impressions are positive. Air Tags have been described as “smart” and “powerful” for those in the Apple ecosystem, and the tracking has been praised for its accuracy.

It can sometimes take a full 30 seconds or more to get an initial location for an Air Tag from another room, and it’s possible for inaccurate locations due to Bluetooth to be thwarted by obstacles and walls. The U1 Precision Tracking is helpful to get around this.

See our full review summary for more details.

Air Tags-Design

The Air Tag is a small, button-shaped locator with a gloss white front that can be personalized with engraving and a silver back. Air Tags are designed around the CR2032 batteries that reside inside and require additional accessories to attach them to an item.

Design

Air Tag is 1.26 inches in diameter and 0.31 inches or 8 mm in height. It weighs 0.39 ounces (11 grams).

Air Tags engraving

Each Air Tag can be engraved with up to four letters or emoji characters, although there are some restrictions on multiple emoji due to size limitations. There are also restrictions on some emoji strings and phrases due to Apple’s content filtering.

engraving

For example, you cannot combine a horse face emoji with the pile of poo emoji or use swear words.

Air Tags Features

Air Tags are added and managed in the Find My app under the Items tab, which Apple introduced in iOS 14.3. As with other Apple devices, each Air Tag appears on a map in the Find My app so you can see its location. Air Tags connect to your iOS and macOS devices via Bluetooth.

Air Tag Features

Apple added a U1 chip to each Air Tag so you can see its precise location indoors or outdoors when it’s nearby, or its last known location when it’s not. There are built in speakers to play a sound to help locate a lost Air Tag around the house and you can either play a sound via the Find My app or ask Siri to find an Air Tag with a sound.

Air Tag Features

If an Air Tag is lost or stolen, the Find My network can help you locate it. The Find My network uses hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad and Mac devices to help you locate an Air Tag, showing the Air Tag on a map when another device locates it.

In Lost Mode, an AirTag automatically sends a notification when it’s detected by someone on the Find My network, and you can add your contact information so someone who finds your item can get in touch with you.

Apple may update Air Tags firmware regularly and has done so several times since Air Tags launched.

precision finding

iPhones with a U1 chip, including the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models, can take advantage of Precision Finding, a feature that lets you see specific instructions on how to get to your lost Air Tag. Precision Finding combines AR, sound, and haptic feedback to help you.

Returning a lost Air Tag

If you come across a lost Air Tag, or if someone finds your lost Air Tag, it can be scanned with any smartphone equipped with NFC to reveal contact information.

This works on iPhones and Android devices. So when you find an item, scan it to find the owner. In lost mode, the Air Tag also returns its location to the owner via the Find My network.

Air Tags-Battery

Air Tags use a replaceable CR2032 battery, which is rated to last about a year before needing replacement. The batteries are user-replaceable, and to swap out a battery, you can press and twist the back of the Air Tag to remove it.

When your Air Tag’s battery life is low, you will receive a notification that the battery needs to be replaced.

Tracker detection for Android

In December 2021, Apple released Tracker Detect on the Google Play Store, the app that allows Android users to search for Air Tags and other Find My-enabled items.

This app allows Android users to ensure that no Air Tags or Find My-enabled accessories are used to track them. The app finds all nearby Air Tags, and Android users can have the Air Tag- or Find My-enabled accessory play a sound so it can be located. The app also provides instructions on how to disable an Air Tag by removing the battery.

Traveling with Air Tag

If you plan to use an Air Tag while traveling, there are certain limitations that you should be aware of. For example, Precision Finding doesn’t work in certain countries like Russia, Indonesia and Argentina, a list is available in our Air Tags travel guide.

Tracking of pets and children

Apple developed Air Tags for tracking items, and Apple does not recommend using them to track pets or children. To keep tabs on kids, Apple recommends an Apple Watch that uses Family Setup.

Air Tag NFC Shortcuts

The built-in NFC chip in the Air Tag can be used by Apple Shortcuts to trigger automations. Users can create a shortcut that is triggered by tapping the white plastic side of the Air Tag with the top of an NFC-enabled “iPhone”.

Air Tag accessories

If you need a holder, keychain, or other Air Tag accessory to attach your Air Tag to an item, we have a dedicated Air Tag accessories guide that rounds up some great options.

Air Tag accessories

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