Does Airtags Need WiFi?


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Written By Dinu Sri

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

Do you want to know how Airtags send location information to your phone? If that is the case, then you are in the correct place. Because here, I will discuss whether it uses a WiFi connection to run in this article.  

Since Airtag is a digital device, you might think it requires the internet to track and send information to your phone. Again many people have the assumption that Airtag cannot run without cellular services. I don’t blame them. It’s a new device released only in the last year.

I will try to address all these questions in this write-up. As a bonus, I will also tell you how Airtags can send location data from far away and how precise the results are. So, without further ado, let’s get right in.

Does Airtags Need WiFi?

Apple Airtag is the latest tracking device that can be attached to various stuff like your wallets, keys, backpacks, etc. It sends its location to iCloud, which you can access through an app called Find My. But you won’t need any WiFi connection for that. It uses a Bluetooth connection to send location data.

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Airtag, the tiny tracker, is small in size but has big technologies inside it. This device is a fine example of how advanced our world has become in technology. Apple has given a powerful U1 chip inside the Airtag. That’s why you get precise location coordination each time.

But the good news is that you won’t need any WiFi connection to run this device. It only uses Bluetooth to connect with your iPhone or any Apple device. Now Airtags is also compatible with Android devices. You won’t even need WiFi for that. 

In fact, the Find My app, through which you can run and locate your Airtags, is offline. It doesn’t need WiFi or internet for that matter. Just connect your phone and Airtag through Bluetooth, and you’re good to go. The Android app My Detector works offline as well.

So, you can see that the total Airtag system is offline, and you won’t need any WiFi connection. Moreover, its U1 chip provides excellent precession while showing the location. You will just need WiFi or internet to access iCloud.

Does Airtag Work Without Service?

Yes, Airtags works pretty well without any cellular service. In fact, it does not need internet at all. When an Airtag sends location information directly to your device within a short range, it uses a Bluetooth connection.

If you somehow lost your Airtag, anyone with an Apple device and the Find My app can locate it, and you will receive a notification. It also doesn’t use any cellphone services. So, from locating your Airtag in small distances to finding any lost one, an Airtag does not use a cellular service anywhere in the process.

Even if its apps are offline, you can run them without broadband, WiFi, or cellular service. Instead, Airtags uses Ultra-Wideband Technology and Bluetooth to connect with the Find My and My Detector apps and send their location data to your Apple and Android devices.

All the location data from an Airtag is stored in your iCloud. So, iOS users can always access them through the Find My app. But Android phone users do not have access to iCloud. So, they can only detect live locations through the My Detector app.

Does Airtag Work Without Bluetooth?

Do you want to know how does AirTag work? We already know that Airtags work through Bluetooth and Ultra-Wideband technology. That is why Apple has used its U1 chip in it so that you get a precise location. But you might be thinking if Airtag somehow works without Bluetooth.

The answer is a big no. There is no way you can connect Airtag with your iOS devices without Bluetooth. In fact, it is the primary and only way to pair two devices. So, you won’t be able to use Airtags without Bluetooth.

All Apple Airtags use Bluetooth LE or Low Energy. That’s why the battery consumption is substantially low. You can use one battery for about a year. You must need a Bluetooth connection to get location data if you are within the Bluetooth range.

But if you are far away, you will have to communicate with the FMP server, which requires internet access. If you lost your Airtags, you need other iPhones to share location notifications with you.

How Does Bluetooth Work For Airtag?

We know a Bluetooth connection is a must for Airtag. But how does Bluetooth work for Airtag? When you connect an Airtag with your phone and attach it to your stuff, it will send out location data using a secure Bluetooth signal. You can detect the signal and find the location using your Find My app.

Now the question arises, how to connect an Airtag with your iOS device. You can set up your Airtag tracker device in the following way:

  • Firstly, open your iOS device and turn the Bluetooth on.
  • Now you have to pull out the battery tab of your Airtag. It will play a sound, and you know it’s turned on.
  • Then hold your Airtag and bring it near to your iPhone or iPad.
  • You will see a Connect Button popping up. Hit on that button.
  • Now it’s time to give a name to your Airtag device.
  • After that, tap the Continue button to sign-up for the Airtag with your Apple ID.
  • Finally, hit the Done button.

Now your Airtag is up and running. You can attach it to your items like a backpack, wallet, keys, iPads, etc.

Do Airtags Need Cellular Data?

No, Airtag does not need cellular data to send its location information to your iCloud. When you sync an Airtag with your Apple ID, it will automatically send location ordinates to your iCloud. You can access those locations through the Find My app.

This app is also offline. You don’t need any cellular data or internet connection to run it. All you need is a Bluetooth connection. And, of course, your Airtag will have to be within the Bluetooth range to send out direct location coordination. This way, you can see a map in your Find My app showing a direction towards the location.  

How Far Can Airtags Be Away From Phone?

An Airtag can send location information to your iPhone within a Bluetooth range. So, if your Airtag is 30 feet away from your phone, you can see the location of your Airtag using the Find My app. You will see a precise direction from the map of the app.

Besides, you can make a sound from your Airtag using that app. Apart from that, you will see text directions on your screen. However, there is no limit to how far your Airtag can work and send location information.

It can work from around the world. If you somehow lost your Airtag on left it in another city or even a country, you can put it on the Lost Mode. Then someone else can locate your Airtag. So, it works from anywhere worldwide as long as it’s not dead.

How Do Airtags Work Long Distance?

We learned that Airtag could work from anywhere in the world. It might not be able to send location information directly to your phone, but you can passively locate your Airtag from long distances.

You can locate your Airtag from long distances in the following way:

  • Firstly, you have to put your Airtag in the Lost Mode. You can do it from your Find My app.
  • When an iPhone user comes around your Airtag, their phone will be connected to your Airtag.
  • Then, you will instantly receive a notification about your Airtag’s location.
  • After that, if you have enabled the contact sharing option, that person will be able to get your contact information by tapping on the Airtag.
  • Finally, that person can contact you and tell you the exact location.

That’s how you are going to locate your lost Airtags from a long distance. Since there are so many iPhone users around, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Can Airtag Work Without iPhone?

Airtag was primarily designed for use with iPhones and iOS devices. You need the Find My app to run and see the location of your Airtag. This app is only available in Apple Stores. So, you can’t use it with Android or Windows devices.

However, Apple has decided to allow Android users to use this tracking device. That’s why Apple has released an app called My Detector in the Google Play Store. So, now Android users can also use Airtags. But there are a lot of issues in this app.

Android users can only locate the Airtags that are within the Bluetooth range. They won’t be able to store the location data since these data are only stored in iCloud. So, although Android users can now use Airtags, only a limited service is available.

Do Airtags Work Offline?

Airtag is entirely an offline tracker device. It only uses Low Energy Bluetooth to send location information to a phone. So, it won’t need any internet or cellular services to run. Moreover, Airtags have U1 chips and use Ultra-Wideband Technology. That’s why you get an exact location from it.

Apart from the device, the app used for Airtag is also offline. You won’t need any internet connection to run the Find My app. You just need the Bluetooth connection. Android app My Detector is also offline. But using it with the internet will give more precise results.

However, you must only need the internet when communicating with the FMP server. When you are far away from your Airtag, you will get a location notification which is sent to the FMP server.

How Precise Is Airtag’s Location?

Airtag’s location indicator has pinpoint precision. That means you will get an extremely precise direction from this tracker. And why not? The device was developed for perfection. It has a U1 chip and Ultra-Wideband Technology, and these two technologies make the location indication very precise.

When you are within the Bluetooth range and looking for your Airtag, you will see a direction in your Find My app. The map will take you to your Airtag. In the process, it will show in text in which direction you will have to go.

When you are within four inches, your map will show ‘Here’ in the text form. Besides, you can also make sounds from your Airtag since it has a built-in speaker. All in all, Airtags are extremely precise, and you will get exact location data from them.

Final Thought

In conclusion, I would like to say that Airtags is nothing like any old trackers, nor do they require WiFi or Cellular data to run. All it needs is your phone’s Bluetooth. But you’ll get more accurate results from the latest model of iPhones.

References

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