So here we are at the definitive guide on using AirTag . For those who do not know it yet, this is a brand new accessory released by Apple, able to help the user find lost items in no time. But let’s not go too far with the introduction, because below you will find all the answers to the questions about the aforementioned device. Let’s get started right away!
- The packaging
- The design
2.1. The customization
2.2. The accessories
- The first configuration
3.1. The system requirements
- How to use AirTag
4.1. The map
4.2. Use the “Precise Location”
4.3. Lost mode
4.4. The “Where is” network
- Privacy and anti-tracking
- What to do if an AirTag is found
6.1. It is not possible to appropriate the AirTag
6.2. AirTag is not an anti-theft device
- Prices and availability
Let’s start from the very first contact with AirTag, or rather, with its sales package. Depending on the version purchased, you will find yourself in front of a larger box (pack of 4) or smaller (single pack), entirely white and with one of the two “faces” of AirTag in the center. On the back, obviously, there will be all the information on the creation and use of the product.
Inside: the AirTag (or the AirTags) protected by film and battery included , a quick guide on the first configuration of the object and the usual instruction manual. Unfortunately, there will be no Apple stickers.
From an aesthetic point of view, there is very little to say. It is an object with a slightly larger size than a classic coin , both in terms of thickness and diameter. The general structure rests on two distinct pieces: one in stainless steel, in which the Apple logo is also engraved and some more information on its characteristics, and the other in white plastic, mainly useful as a “sound box” and to allow therefore the sound emitted by AirTag to increase its performance. Between these two elements, we find the interchangeable CR2032 button battery (the one generally used on watches).
Remaining for a few moments on the aesthetic profile of AirTag, we can only talk about its customization possibilities. In fact, by purchasing it in the Apple Store, it will be possible to add an engraving characterized by classic text (maximum 5 characters), emojis, or numbers. All this, to make your AirTag unique.
Before moving on to the first configuration, however, we remind you that AirTag can be combined with some accessories sold separately , very useful for hooking it to your keys, backpack or wherever you want. To deepen this discussion, however, we invite you to read the dedicated article below.
The best accessories for AirTag
The first configuration
Immediately after removing the film covering AirTag, it will emit a very short sound to alert the user of its activation. At this point, simply bringing it closer to the iPhone to connect it to, a configuration pop-up will appear on the smartphone screen , substantially identical to that of the AirPods.
Here you can decide the name to assign to the object (which can be changed later) and it will automatically link to your iCloud account, so that no one else can use it.
If this pop-up does not appear, the configuration can still be started through the “Where is” application , immediately after clicking on “Objects” at the bottom right, then “Add accessory” and finally “Add AirTag” .
The system requirements
Be careful though. To pair AirTag to iPhone, you will need to have iOS version 14.5 . Obviously, if you prefer, the aforementioned device can also be paired with iPad and iPod touch. However, it will synchronize with your account and will automatically appear in the “Find My” app of all devices configured with the same account.
Furthermore, as we will see later, the “Precise Position” function will only work on iPhones equipped with U1 (UWB) chips and therefore with the 11, 12 and later series. Before concluding with the derequisites paragraph, we would like to point out that it will not be possible to connect more than 16 AirTags for each account .
How to use AirTag
Once connected, AirTag can be used through the “Where is” application . Below we will refer only to iPhone, but the same functions (with the exception of “Precise location”) can also be used on iPad, Mac or iPod touch.
Immediately after clicking on the “Objects” tab , a classic map (taken from Apple Maps) will appear, within which we will find the approximate position (it does not have GPS, so the position cannot be perfect to the centimeter) of the AirTag. Once selected, you can perform various operations to find the object in question.
- Make Ring : To allow AirTag to play a sound, so it can be detected
- Find: to activate the “Precise location” function, which we will see shortly
- Lost mode: to report AirTag as a lost object and add useful information for those who will find it (we will analyze the function in the next paragraphs)
- Rename object: to change the AirTag name and emoji
- Remove object: to restore AirTag and then disconnect it from your iCloud account (in this way, whoever finds it will be able to pair it with their account)
Use the “Precise Location”
The “Precise Location” feature is probably what makes AirTag unique. Thanks to the UWB (Ultra Wide Band) chip included within it, AirTag will be able to report its precise position (to the millimeter) to a device equipped with the same chip (and therefore only iPhone 11, 12 and later).
Once you have reached the approximate position indicated by the map, you can click on “Find” to start the function indicated above. An arrow will appear on the screen indicating the direction of the object, with the distance (in meters) that separates the smartphone from the AirTag at the bottom. By following the arrow, you will reach the object precisely. This function, however, will only be useful within a radius of about 10 meters from AirTag, since it will rely on the service offered by Bluetooth.
Within the same screen, you can also click on the speaker icon to emit a sound, or on the “X” on the left to return to the map. Also, thanks to the curated animations and haptic feedback of the iPhone, the closer the smartphone gets, the greater the vibrations emitted.
Obviously, as you have surely understood, the “Precise position” will give its greatest contribution within a fairly confined space, such as the house, the car or a garage, however, even outdoors, only after reaching the potion of the map, it will be useful to actually understand where the object was lost.
If, on the other hand, the object is unobtainable, it can be reported as lost by clicking on the appropriate button. When this is done, you will be able to include: your phone number and a personalized text message . In this way, the NFC present in the AirTag will be activated and anyone who finds the object will be able to scan it with their smartphone (iOS or Android) to obtain the information left by the owner and contact him again to warn him that he has found the object.
The lost mode will also allow you to enable notifications, so you can receive a notification on the iPhone when the AirTag is found by someone or when it will be able to update its position on the map thanks to the millions of iOS devices in circulation.
The “Where is” network
When the AirTag loses the Bluetooth connection with the iPhone to which it is connected, it will keep the last detected position active on the map . However, thanks to the “Where is” network , when any iOS device (with Bluetooth enabled and cellular data available) enters its range, the object will hook to it for a few moments (in an absolutely private way ) in order to update its position and make it appear on the map of the owner’s “Where is” app . When this happens, the user will get a notification on their iPhone.
Privacy and anti-tracking
Still on the subject of privacy, Apple has also included in AirTag a sort of “anti-tracking” function , which will prevent the use of the aforementioned accessory to follow and track the position of another person.
In fact, when the AirTag moves away from the owner’s iPhone and is constantly connected to another iPhone (as if he were following it), a notification will automatically be sent to the aforementioned smartphone, which will warn of the presence of an AirTag nearby. If, on the other hand, you do not have an iPhone, after three days (Apple has stated that these times may vary in the future), the AirTag will begin to admit a sound, so that the “followed” person will realize his or her presence .
Furthermore, Apple has reassured users by stating that all information on AirTag will be encrypted and inaccessible. Therefore, the addresses and movements will be visible only to the owner of the accessory. Not even the company itself will be able to obtain them.
What to do if an AirTag is found
As anticipated, if an AirTag enters the “Lost” mode , anyone who finds it will be able to help the user find it. Therefore, in case you find one on the street, we invite you to scan it through the NFC of your smartphone (both Android and iOS) and contact the phone number indicated by the owner.
It is not possible to appropriate the AirTag
Someone might think, once they have found the AirTag, to perform a simple reset and take possession of the accessory. This is obviously not available , as the reset can only be performed from a device with access to the AirTag configuration account. Therefore, it will be essentially useless to keep it.
AirTag is not an anti-theft device
Although some may imagine the use of AirTag as an anti-theft, unfortunately it cannot be used for this purpose. Those who find the accessory can in fact easily remove the battery or detach AirTag from the object, and then appropriate it. However, in the case of a backpack or suitcase, one could still think of hiding the AirTag (and therefore not putting it in plain sight) to prevent any thief from seeing it. In any case, we still remind you of the anti-tracking notifications and that after three days the accessory will start to ring .
The battery, as previously indicated, is a CR2032 , interchangeable and can be purchased online and in supermarkets for a few euros. The general life of a battery should be around a year, but at the moment we obviously cannot state precise estimates. Furthermore, it is plausible to think that the more you use the function to make the AirTag ring, the less the battery will last.
Prices and availability
AirTag can be purchased in the Apple Store or in all authorized resellers. This means that MediaWorld, Euronics, Unieuro, Amazon and many other electronics stores are included . Its price varies according to the version chosen. The single pack has a price of 35 euros, while the 4 pack can be purchased for 119 euros , with a saving of around 20 euros.