Do Airtags Require Bluetooth?


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Written By Dinu Sri

Dr. H. T. D. S. Madusanka is an electronic enthusiastic, involved in research and development.

Airtags are an excellent choice for tracking your personal items. But before you get on board with this high-tech tracker, you must know how does AirTag work?

Since it’s still comparatively a new device, only around for a little more than a year, a lot of people don’t have a clear idea about this device. So, questions like whether an Airtag requires a Bluetooth connection are very common. And very few resources are available discussing these matters in detail.

That’s why in this write-up, I will give you a complete idea of whether you need a Bluetooth connection for Airtags. You will also learn which devices are compatible with this tracker and if it releases radiation at the end. All the information will come in real handy for you.

Do Airtags Require Bluetooth?

Apple Airtag is a cutting-edge tracking device. It doesn’t work like any conventional tracking device that uses GPS for connectivity. Instead, Airtag uses Low Energy Bluetooth for sending location information and connecting with your iPhone. An Ultra-Wideband Technology helps it provide precise location direction.

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If you are using Airtags, you know it uses your Bluetooth connection to stay connected with your iPhone. It doesn’t use any cellular services or internet connection. You must have to keep your iPhone’s Bluetooth connection on for using this tracking device.

An Airtag can be attached to personal items like keys, wallets, iPods, Backpacks, etc. It is a very modern tracking device. That’s why it does not use GPS to send location information. Apple has used a Low Energy Bluetooth connection for Airtag’s main way to connect with an iPhone.

This LE Bluetooth is backed by Ultra-Wideband Technology and a powerful U1 chip that helps provide more precise location direction than any other tracking device. To see the location of your Airtag, you will have to use the Find My app. But this app is only available for iPhone users.

But, Android users can now also use Airtag through another app. Apple has developed and released the My Detector app in Google Play Store. With this app, people can locate their Airtag. But Android users also need a Bluetooth connection to run Airtag. So, yes, Airtags require a Bluetooth connection.

Can Airtags Work Without Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is the only connecting mechanism for Airtags. This tracking device uses Low Energy Bluetooth to send location information directly to your iCloud. You can access this data through the Find My app. But for using this app, you will have to connect Airtag with your phone first.

For that, you will need a Bluetooth connection. Again, you can run your Airtag through the Find My app using the Bluetooth connection. Any command you send from your app to your Airtag will use a Bluetooth connection. For example, you can make sounds from your Airtag while detecting it.

So, your Airtag won’t work without a Bluetooth connection. From sending location information to receiving commands from your iPhone app, you will need Bluetooth. In a word, the whole Airtag system is based on a Bluetooth connection.

There are other two components that help the Bluetooth send out an exact location pin. One is Apple’s powerful U1 chip, and the other is the Ultra-Wideband Technology. Together, they send a precise location direction. Besides, you won’t need a cell service or internet connection to use an Airtag.

Do Airtags Use WiFi Or Bluetooth?

An Airtag does not require any WiFi connection to run or send location data to your iPhone. Many people believe you need a WiFi or internet connection to run Airtag. But that’s totally untrue. An Airtag does not connect with your iPhone using WiFi or the internet.

In fact, the Find My app also doesn’t need any internet to run. It can detect the location sent by your Airtag without an internet connection since it’s an offline app. The Android app is offline as well.

However, if you lost your Airtag and put it on the Lost Mode, someone else can locate it, and you will get a notification. In that case, you will need the internet to access the FMP server to get the location. Otherwise, you won’t need an internet or WiFi connection.

On the other hand, you just need a Bluetooth connection to run and use Airtag. Because Airtags uses Low Energy Bluetooth technology to send location information to your iCloud, you will need a Bluetooth connection to pair an Airtag with your iPhone.

So, when it’s come to WiFi or Bluetooth, always remember that Bluetooth is a must for Airtags, and WiFi isn’t.  

Does Bluetooth Use A Lot Of Battery?

Since Airtag always stays on and keeps sending location information, you might think it consumes a lot of battery. But that is not the case. Although there are so many features of Airtag, it doesn’t use a lot of battery. With moderate usage, one battery can go for an entire year.

Airtags uses a CR2032 battery that doesn’t have any bitterant coating on it. If you play four sounds and track one device per day, this battery will last up to one year. After the battery is entirely used up, you will have to throw it away and replace it with a new one.

Here are the steps to change the battery of an Airtag:

  • Firstly, remove the battery cover. For that, press down the stainless steel battery covers and rotate it counterclockwise until it stops rotating.
  • Then remove the cover and old battery from your Airtag.
  • Next, put a new battery facing up on the positive side. You will hear a sound if your battery is correctly connected. Always use a CR2032 coin battery that has no bitterant coating on it.
  • Now put the cover again and rotate it clockwise until it stops rotating.
  • Finally, connect the Airtag again with your phone.

Now you have a new battery in your Airtag. You won’t have to worry about changing the battery for another year.

Can iPhone Connect To Airtags?

When Airtag was first released, it was only designed for use with iOS and macOS devices. That means you could only use it with iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices of these two operating systems. Even today, Airtags offers full features for iPhone users only. So, of course, iPhone connects to Airtags.

In fact, at that point, no other devices except for Apple could connect to Airtags. However, you need an iPhone to have full access to all the features of an Airtag. But for that, you will have to connect the Airtag with your iPhone first. You can pair the devices using your phone’s Bluetooth connection.

iPhone users must install the Find My app from the Apple Store to run Airtags. You will see the location of your Airtag as well as the direction of it. But your iPhone and Airtags will have to be within the Bluetooth range, which is 30 feet max. You can use multiple Airtags with one Apple ID.

What Devices Are Airtags Compatible With?

At first, Apple Airtag was only compatible with iOS and macOS devices. That means you could only use it with iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices. Airtag uses an app called Find My. This app is only available on Apple Store. That’s why only Apple users could use this tracking device.

But after seeing so much popularity, Apple has decided to make it available for Android users. So, now Android users can also use it. Apple has released an app called My Detector to Google Play Store. So, you can locate your Airtags using this app on Android phones.

However, this app has a lot of bugs, and hopefully, Apple will make necessary improvements so that Android users can enjoy a better experience with Airtags. All in all, Airtag is compatible with Apple and Android devices.

Operating SystemDevices
iOSiPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
macOSMacBook, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, Mac Mini, iMac
AndroidAndroid Smartphones, Tablets

How Far Away Does Airtags Work?

In a sense, Airtag has no limit. It can work from anywhere worldwide as long as it’s alive. But it can only work from this far if it’s on the Lost Mode. If you accidentally lost your Airtag, you will have to put on the Lost Mode.

Then other iPhone users nearby will connect to the Airtag, and you will get a notification. You can share your contact information with that person. They will have to tap on Airtag to get your information.

Otherwise, your Airtag has to be within the Bluetooth range to send a direction. You can see its location from the Find My app’s map. This way, you will get a pinpoint location and direction of your misplaced Airtag.

It will also show text directions, and when you are within only 4 inches of your Airtag, the app will show ‘Here.’ Besides, you can also make sounds from your Airtag since it has a built-in speaker. Most importantly, you can only do that by using the Bluetooth connection.

What Is Airtag Lost Mode?

Airtag Lost Mode is a feature of Airtag. You will have to put your Airtags on Lost Mode if you somehow lose your Airtags or leave them behind far away from you. In that case, you won’t be able to track down your Airtag using the Find My app since it’s not within your Bluetooth range.

When the Lost Mode is activated, your Airtag will connect to any nearby iPhone. You will get a notification almost instantly. Airtag will send its location to iCloud, and you will access it through the FMP server. You’ll need an internet connection for that.

You can create a custom message on Lost Mode, and whoever connects with your Airtag will receive the message. But no worries about your privacy or security. All the information is encrypted, and the whole process is secure.

Do Airtags Give Off Radiation?

Yes, unfortunately, Airtags send out radiations. An Airtag always remains on. Since it always stays active and sends location information on demand, it emits EMF radiation. But the radiation will stop as soon as you stop using it.

Whenever you turn on an Airtag and pair it with your phone, it will use a Bluetooth connection to stay connected with your device and send location information. As it keeps tracking, EMF radiation will release from the device. While it might not be dangerous, there are always concerns.  

Final Thoughts

Bluetooth connection is the backbone of an Airtag system. Without it, you won’t be able to receive location information from this tracker and use the Find My app. Airtags only use a secure Bluetooth connection to send location pins and stay connected to your iPhone. So, make sure your device has an active Bluetooth connection.

References

O’Flaherty, K. (2021, May 22). Apple AirTags: What All iPhone Users Should Know. Retrieved from Forbes.com: