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Your Most Asked Questions About AirTags, Answered

We've gathered the most popular questions from our readers about Apple's AirTags — and answered them.

apple airtags with accessories

Apple's AirTags can be attached to things like a keychain, a backpack, a bike or any other of your personal belongings, so that you can find them in the event that they get lost or taken. To find it, all you have to do is open the Find My app and, wherever your AirTag was last spotted, it'll show up.

Of course, as with any new gadget there comes a healthy amount of intrigue, skepticism and general uncertainty — and the AirTags are no exception. That's why we've collected a smattering of questions about Apple's AirTags from readers on our Instagram and answered them below.

Apple AirTag
Apple amazon.com

How are AirTags similar to Tile?

Apple's AirTags and Tile's trackers are actually very similar. Both are tiny location-tracking gadgets that rely on a Bluetooth connection to work. When the tracker is in Bluetooth range (which is around 30 feet), you can open an app on your smartphone or tablet and quickly locate the tracker. When the tracker is not in Bluetooth range of your device, you can set to a "Lost" mode and it will then anonymously communicate with other people devices; when they come into Bluetooth range of the tracker you'll get a notification with your tracker's location without the other person ever have knowledge that they helped you find it.

apple airtag app
Only you can see where your AirTag is. Your location data and history are never stored on the AirTag itself. If you lose your AirTag it can be put into Lost Mode.

How are AirTags different to Tile?

There are two major differences between Apple's AirTags and Tile's trackers. AirTags are able to anonymously communicate with any Apple device that uses Find My network, which includes any iPhone, iPad or Mac. While Tile relies on devices with its Tile app downloaded. Because there are a lot more iPhones (and other Apple devices) then there are devices with Tile's app downloaded, it means that AirTags are going to be better at tracking in these scenarios.

The other big difference is that AirTags have a feature called Precision Finding, which takes takes advantage of Apple's U1 chip (as well as your iPhone's accelerometer and gyroscope). When you're in Bluetooth range, an arrow will appear on your Find My app and it'll point you to the exact location of your AirTag. The catch is that only the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models can take advantage of Precision Tracking, as they're the only iPhones with Apple's U1 chip so far.

apple airtag precision finding
Your iPhone can lead you straight to your AirTag with Precision Finding. Using Ultra Wideband technology, you‘ll see the distance to your AirTag and the direction to head in.

What is the range of an AirTag?

AirTags do not have a defined range because they work within the range of Apple's Find My network. This means as long as an AirTag is within Bluetooth range of anybody's iPhone (or other Apple device), it can passively communicate with it and then help you locate it. For example, you can locate an AirTag that's hundreds of miles away so long as somebody with an iPhone walks near it. However, if you lose an AirTag in a remote-but-nearby place that nobody is likely to walk by, like the woods behind your house, you're unlikely to locate it as quick.

Apple has not specified the exact Bluetooth range of an AirTag, either, but it's believed that each AirTag supports Bluetooth 5.0 (same as the latest iPhones), which means it should be trackable within 800 feet.

Do you have to charge your AirTag? What is an AirTag's battery life?

You do not have to charge an AirTag, but you will have to change its battery. Each AirTag relies on a circular CR2032 battery, which you can buy for a few bucks on Amazon. To remove the battery, flip the AirTag over to the polished metal side, push down and twist clockwise.

Apple claims that the battery of an AirTag should last about one year, but we won't know for sure how accurate that is until a year has gone by since release.

apple airtag hanging on bag

Are AirTags waterproof?

No, but they are close. Each AirTag has an IP67 water and dust resistance rating, meaning it can be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. This is roughly the same water-resistance rating as the iPhone SE 2020, but it's not as good as the IP68 rating of the latest iPhones, which allows them to be submerged in six meters of water for 30 minutes.

Can you use AirTags to track pets or people?

AirTags aren't designed to track pets. This is because if your dog or cat goes really off the grid, an AirTag won't be unless they somehow walk by somebody with an iPhone. However, even though Apple doesn't exactly recommend it, you can use an AirTag to track your pets. There's a burgeoning list of third-party AirTag accessories designed specifically for pets.

When it comes to tracking people, Apple baked each AirTag with security features to prevent against it. If you have an iPhone running iOS 14.5 (or later) and an AirTag that isn't registered under your Apple ID is "following" you, then it'll alert you via a push notification from the Find My app. If you have an older iPhone that can't run iOS 14.5, or an Android smartphone, any AirTag that's been out of range of its parent phone will start making a noise after three days of isolation.

How do you attach AirTags to things?

Unless you can slip the AirTag into a bag or into your wallet, you'll almost definitely need to buy an accessory that's specifically designed for an AirTag — and there's a whole ecosystem of Apple-made or third-party-made accessories for AirTags. There's also tape.

How thick is an AirTag? Can you fit one in your wallet?

An AirTag is a puck-shaped gadget that's 0.31 inches in height and 1.26-inches in diameter. All-in-all, it's about the size of a piece of Mentos candy. It will be able to fit into most wallets, although it won't fit as nicely as if it were as thin as quarter or the shape of a credit card.

airtag wallet

Can an AirTag be shared by multiple family members?

The short answer is no.

Each AirTag can only be associated with one person's Apple ID, which, unfortunately, is why they can't really be shared between with family members. However, if you were to let somebody in your family borrow something that has an AirTag on it, you can select "Pause Safety Alerts" in the AirTag's settings via the Find My app and it will prevent it from making a sound or sending you safety alerts.

How easy is an AirTag to steal?

You can't steal an AirTag and use it for yourself. That's because in order to factory reset the AirTag, you need the consent of the person whose Apple ID it is filed under. If you don't have that consent, all you can technically do is remove the AirTag's battery. If you do this, the owner of the AirTag will only be able to see the AirTag's last known location.

Apple AirTag
Apple amazon.com
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