Do Airtags Work With Android?


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Written By Dinu Sri

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

As an Android user, you might want to use the Airtag tracker to keep an eye on your items. But do you need to have an iPhone to use Airtag? Well, that’s the question all Android users secretly dread. Do you know what are AirTags used for? No problem if you don’t. 

The good news for you is that you’re at the right place. In this write-up, I will give you a virtual tour where you will get answers to all these questions. On top of that, I will tell you the best alternatives of Airtags for android users. So, let’s take this show on the road already. 

Do Airtags Work With Android? 

Airtags was first designed for Apple users only. So, only people with iPhones could use this tracking device. But now, after achieving widespread popularity, Apple has decided to make it accessible for Android users. Now you can use an Android app called My Detector to locate Airtags. However, not all Airtags features are open for Android users.  

Apple has revolutionized the tracking with Airtags. Nobody could anticipate that a small device could be used to safely track personal items like wallets, keys, backpacks, luggage, and pets before Airtag came into the market. However, it was only designed for iPhone users. 

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Because of its practical features and precise location, it could quickly grab people’s attention. So, the demand among Android users was rising pretty fast. Apple acknowledged the situation and released an app called My Detector in the Google Play Store. You can locate Airtags using this app on your Android phone. 

But this app has many limitations. The user experience is not very satisfactory. Besides, Apple does not allow Android users to enjoy all the features of Airtag. As a result, they can’t squeeze all the juice out of this tracking device. However, Apple is working toward improving the app and making it more user-friendly. 

What Phones Work With Airtags?

Airtag is a tracking device from Apple. It was introduced `in April 2021. Primarily this tracking device was only designed for iOS and iMac devices. In a word, only Apple users could use it. Airtag requires an app called Find My, which is compatible with iPhones. 

Airtag sends location information directly to iCloud. You need an Apple ID to register with iCloud. So, all Airtag features are accessible through iPhones and other Apple devices. Only iPhone users can enjoy the precise performance of the Ultra-Wideband Technology and U1 chip. 

On the other hand, Apple has allowed Android users to enjoy some of the features of Airtag through the My Detector app, which is available on Google Play Store. So, all in all, iPhones and Android phones work with Apple Airtags. But to enjoy all the features and excellent performance, you must use an iPhone.  

The list below will show you the devices that are compatible with Airtag: 

Operating SystemDevices
iOSiPhone 6s and later, iPod Touch
iPadOSiPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air
iMaciMac, iMac Pro
AndroidVarious Android Phones, Tabs

How Well Does Airtags Work With Android? 

Android users can detect Airtags using the My Detector app. You can download it from the Google Play Store free of cost, but you will find many complaints against this app. Among many complaints, the most we hear is that the app laps or freezes while using. But Apple has said they are working to solve this problem. 

Using an Android phone, you can only locate an Airtag. If an Airtag is lost, you can detect it using the My Detector app on an Android phone. Again, if there is any unknown Airtag tracking or stalking you, you can detect it using your Android phone. The app will show it as Unknown Airtag. 

You can also play sounds from that Airtag while tracking since it has a built-in speaker inside. However, you won’t be able to track Airtags on Android devices as precisely as you can on iPhones. So, your Airtag experience on Android devices won’t be that satisfactory. 

Can I Set Up Airtag On Android?

Unfortunately, you can’t set up Airtags on your Android phone. Airtags are compatible with iPhones. It uses Low Energy Bluetooth, Ultra-Wideband technology to connect with an iPhone. Besides, you will have to register it with your Apple ID. After that, your Airtag will send and store location information to your iCloud. 

Because of the UWB technology and U1 chip, you will get the exact location direction using the Find My app. But we all know that the app is not available for Android users. So, you can’t set Airtags on Android phones. 

However, you can detect or locate Airtag on Android phones using the My Detector app. You can download a Bluetooth scanner on your Android device to detect a lost Airtag. 

How To Scan For Airtags With Android

We know from the previous section that you cannot set up Airtags on your Android devices. But you can scan any Airtag using the My Detector app. It will allow you to scan your Airtags and unknown ones. Now I’ll show you how to scan Airtags on an Android device. Follow my instructions below:  

  • Firstly, use the Find My app from your iPhone or MAC devices to see the last location of your lost Airtag and try to get to that location. 
  • Then install the My Detector app or any other Bluetooth scanner app on your Android phone. 
  • Now, open the app and check for nearby local devices. You have to look for an unnamed device and check the details when you find one. See the manufacturer-specific data of that device. If it says Apple, Inc., you’ll know it’s an Airtag. 
  • At this point, you must move around and see in which direction the signal strength rises. It will grow as you get closer. 
  • Finally, when you can locate the Airtag, you will have to scan it with the NFC reader of your Android phone to see that it’s the Airtag you are looking for.

This way, you can scan a lost Airtag using an Android phone. If that Airtag is on the Lost Mode, you will see the owner’s contact information after connecting it with your phone’s NFC. 

Do You Need An iPhone To Use Airtags?

Airtags are fully compatible with iPhones. So, if you want to use all the features this tracking device offers, you must use an iPhone. Airtag is run by Low Energy Bluetooth, Ultra-Wideband Technology, and a U1 chip. These components work best when your Airtag is connected to an iPhone. 

However, you can also scan and locate your Airtag using an Android phone. But that won’t be accurate or precise since Android phone doesn’t have U1 chip or are compatible with Ultra-Wideband technology. So, you’ll need an iPhone to enjoy all the features of Airtags. 

Does Samsung Have Airtags?

Samsung has its own version of Apple’s Airtag. The name of that device is Samsung Galaxy SmartTag or simply SmartTag in short. Like Airtags, you can use this tracking device with your keys, wallets, backpacks, etc. There are differences between AirTag and SmartTag in connectivity. 

SmartTag only uses a Bluetooth connection to send location information. It uses an Android app called Galaxy Find Network. By using it, you will be able to operate the SmartTag and locate a lost one. However, the usage of SmartTag and AirTag are the same. 

How Do I Add An Airtag To A Second Phone?

Sharing an Airtag with another phone is not easy. Apple doesn’t allow sharing an Airtag with another phone user. However, you can transfer your Airtag to a second iPhone with a different Apple ID. You can remove it from your Find My list and reset it to connect with a second phone. 

To reset an Airtag manually, you will have to remove the battery and put it back again. You will have to repeat the process five times in total. After the fifth time, your Airtag will be reset, and you can register it with another phone and Apple ID. 

What Are Airtag Alternatives For Android Users? 

Apple has designed Airtags for iOS and iMac users. That’s why only Apple users can enjoy the full benefits of an Airtag. Android users can scan and locate Airtags, but that’s not nearly enough. 

Taking this advantage, many manufacturers have made tracking devices compatible with Android phones. For example, Samsung has made Galaxy SmartTag for its devices. 

But many other Airtag alternatives for Android users are hugely popular. They are Tile Mate, Tile Pro, Chipolo ONE, etc. They can be used to track personal items, just like an Airtag. They are also operated by Android apps. 

Final Thoughts 

You can use Airtags with an Android phone, but the experience won’t be the same. In fact, you can only scan and locate a lost Airtag with an Android device. So, in conclusion, I would suggest you use Airtag with an iPhone or any other Apple device. But if that’s not possible, go for Airtag alternatives for android users. 

References 

Wright, A. (2021, December 14). You can now track Apple AirTags with your Android phone, but there’s a catch. Retrieved from androidpolice.com: https://www.androidpolice.com/you-can-now-track-apple-airtags-with-your-android-phone-but-theres-a-catch/