What are AirTags used for?


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Written By Dinu Sri

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

By now you have seen an AirTag either you own it, you know someone who owns one or you have stumbled with it in the internet. If you are among the people who have no clue what an AirTag does, you are in the right place. 

An AirTag is a tiny tracking device that was created by Apple to aid in tracking valuables that cannot be technologically operated or connected. An example of items that can be tracked by Apple AirTag is your wallet or your car keys. 

Although these devices are very recent, they fulfil the role they were created for perfectly. AirTag uses the famous Ultra-wide band technology that have been used in IOT applications for years. it also uses a Bluetooth connection to send data to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch provided they have an IOS of 14.50 and later versions. 

Since the information provided above vaguely explain what an AirTag does, it would be better if you sticked around and read the rest of the guide to know where you can use an AirTag and where not to use AirTag. Stay tuned!

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What are AirTags used for? 

Loosing or misplacing your items can be so much detrimental. You might end up spending more money trying to recover your items which in most cases you don’t end up retrieving them. Luckily, Apple found a solution for such issues with the release of AirTag. What is AirTag and what are they used for. 

An AirTag is a tracking device created by Apple that allows you to keep track of items that cannot accommodate GPS trackers. The device is mostly attached to your item and then connected to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The iPhone is used as a control panel since AirTags do not have a screen of their own. 

Once you have created a connection between your iPhone and the AirTag, it gets easy to track any item. The device is connected to your Apple Id through Find My app. Here you also get to register what item you are tracking. One Apple ID can track up to 16 items. 

 AirTags are affordable. You can buy one AirTag for $29 and a pack of 4 AirTags at $99. This means you can buy an AirTag for every item you want to track and register it to one Apple ID. Besides, one AirTag can only track one item. 

Using an AirTag to track your items is not very hard. Provided you have an iPhone, the AirTag is connected and online, then you don’t have to fear about losing your items anymore. 

Can you Use an AirTag with An Android?

Unfortunately, you cannot use your AirTag with an Android phone. For AirTag to work, your will need an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with IOS 14.50 and latest versions. So, if your Apple has an IOS version older than 14.50, you cannot use AirTag. 

Another important feature needed for an AirTag to work is Find My app. Android phones do not have Find My app. 

If you have iPhone 11 and the latest versions, you can access a feature known as Precision Finding that provides you with the distance, and an arrow that shows you the direction you will have to follow to get to your device. 

Based on those factors, there is no way you can use your AirTag with an Android phone. 

What items can an AirTag track?

If you have been losing your items, am I am glad to inform your that you will never lose them anymore. You can attach an AirTag to your item and keep track of it through Find My app. Some of the items that can be tracked using an AirTag includes;

  • Your wallet
  • Purse,
  • Bicycle
  • Your backpack
  • Your kids backpack
  • Car keys
  • House keys
  • Office keys
  • Your dog
  • Cat
  • Your camera and any other items. 

AirTags are not magnetic. So, you will need to find a way to attach the device to the item you want to track. 

How do you attach your AirTag to an item?

Every item that can be used with an AirTag has different layout and design. Therefore, you cannot attach an AirTag to every item the same. I will give you some of the most common ways you can use to attach your AirTag to an item. 

  • For your keys: Most people gather all their keys together and form a bunch. You then use a ring to connect all your keys. If by any chance you happen to lose your keys, you might end up being inconvenienced. 

Since you cannot attach every key to its own AirTag, you can buy an AirTag key chain which are specifically made for AirTag use. 

Most of these key chains are made of water-proof soft leather which protects your AirTag from any damage. 

  • Bicycles and cameras: if you are buying an AirTag for your bicycle and other items let’s say your wallet and camera, you would want to use a chain or ring. You would want to use something that blends well with your item. 

For this reason, you can use a thin adhesive pad. The pad will stick the pad on to the item making it look like part of item. This is possible because AirTags are very tiny. 

Other items that can be attached using an adhesive pad include your wallet, purse, backpack, your iPhone, your laptop and many others. 

  • For your pet: Although Apple does not recommend the use of AirTag to track your Pets, there are a lot of accessories made for pets that are compatible with AirTags. 

if you are buying an AirTag for your dog, you can find variety of AirTag dog collars. And, if your AirTag is for a cat, you will also get an AirTag cat collar.

These collars are affordable and almost all of them are breakaway and reflective. This ensures your pet remains safe at all times even at night.  

Are AirTags good for your pets?

Although Apple have not yet released an official statement saying whether it is safe or dangerous to use AirTag for your pets, people have been using them for their pets. There is however mixed feeling based on individual experience. 

  • Some people feel like using AirTags for their pets make their pets uncomfortable. This is because keeping your pet with a collar that holds the AirTag at all times does not make sense. Your cat or dog might strangle themselves with the collar. 
  • Another downside to using AirTags for pet is that if your pet is lost, the AirTag might start producing a sound which might be loud. You pet will therefore keep running away from the noise and become more confused. 
  • Lost pets tend to keep off crowded places. Since Find My Network relies on other people using iPhones, it can get hard to reach your pet. Pets are not like other items. They will keep moving and you might end up losing the track your pet used. 

Other than the few complains, most people loved and decided to continue using AirTag to keep track of their Pets. 

There are not many tracking devices that can be used to keep track of pets. 

  • AirTag are very tiny and lightweight. When matched with a quality AirTag collar, you will sure where your pet at all times. The collars that are made for AirTags are breakaway, reflective, adjustable, and affordable. You will therefore be sure your pet is okay at all times. 
  • Thanks to the large community of Apple device users, you can easily track a lost pet. AirTag work by using a Bluetooth mesh formed by a Bluetooth chip found inside the AirTag and the iPhone. 

If your pet happens to run away, the location will be periodically updated to your iCloud when it comes closer to someone using an iPhone with enabled Find My Network and Bluetooth connection. 

  • Despite of AirTags being cheap, they have a long-lasting battery and you do not have to pay any monthly subscription. Once you buy your AirTag, you will only need to connect it to your iPhone and it starts working. 
  • AirTags are water, dust, and scratch resistant. You can therefore use them for years without fear of being damaged. 

Based on the comments, AirTag is the best option for keeping your pets safe at all times. You will however need to find a high-quality collar that will not make your pet uncomfortable. 

What are AirTags used for - social media flyer

Will AirTags work inside luggage?

Luggage mix-up are very common when flying. You might end up losing your very valuable items if you pick a bag that is not yours. Luckily, you can put an AirTag inside your luggage for safety purposes. 

If by any chance someone takes your luggage, Find My Network will help you know where exactly your luggage is anywhere in the world. 

Despite its ability to track a luggage, AirTag does not solve the issue of checked luggage completely. 

  • The person with your luggage might not be using an iPhone which make sit hard to trace your luggage. 
  • Someone can remove and throw away the AirTag if they know what it does and they have a bad motive. 
  • Your luggage might be traced to another part of the world which will make it hard to retrieve. 

Other than those few issues, AirTag is the best way to keep your luggage safe. It will be easy to find out if you left your luggage at the airport. 

Will AirTags work in RFID wallet?

With the increasing cases of theft of data, people are coming up with new innovations to help people keep their things safe. For example, if someone access your credit card information, they can end up breaking your bank making you broke. Luckily, there is a new type of wallet known as a blocking RFID wallet. 

A Blocking RFID wallet uses a technology that blocks any device that can access your data. Although this wallet is important in keeping your credit cards, the wallet itself can be stolen. Unfortunately, the chip found inside the wallet only blocks other technology than can steal your information but does not aid in tracking your items. 

Since we know the role of an AirTag by know, is it possible to use AirTag with A Blocking RFID wallet?

Yes. You can use an AirTag with the blocking wallet. 

RFID blocking wallet blocks other types of technology but not UWB and Bluetooth which is what AirTag uses. Besides, the radio frequency produced by an AirTag is way strong for a blocking wallet to block. 

So, if you want to keep your RFID blocking wallet safe, you can attach an AirTag to it. 

Do AirTags fit on air pods?

Although Air pods are tiny, an AirTag can perfectly fit on the Air pods. Air pods are some of the items that require a thin adhesive pad when being connected to the AirTag. Both AirTags and Air pods are not magnetic. 

If you are working with Apple devices with IOS 15, you do not need an AirTag to track your Air pods. You can use Bluetooth beacon mode to track your Air Pod pro or max just like the way you do in AirTags. 

Do AirTags work internationally?

Yes, AirTags can work from any corner of the world provided it comes in close proximity to someone using an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch with IOS 14.50 or latest versions. 

If for example you lose your luggage in an airport and it get picked by someone going to a different region, you will be able to see from the map where your luggage is. This is because Find My Network will upload the location history to your iCloud account. 

It is however difficult to retrieve your AirTag if someone is using an Android phone. 

Is AirTags a good gift?

If you have someone in mind that keeps losing their stuff, an AirTag might be the best gift for them 

You can also decide to engrave a message on the cover of the AirTag to make the gift more meaningful. 

Aside from someone, you can also buy your Dog or cat a pet for being a good best friend. 

You should however take in account that AirTags work with iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with IOS 14.50 and latest versions. An AirTag as a gift for someone using android phone will not make any sense. 

Are AirTags good for wallets?

It is not rare for you to misplace your wallet. You might leave your wallet in a bus by mistake. If you happen to have attached an AirTag to your wallet, then there are chances that you can retrieve your wallet. 

Apart from using AirTags to keep your items safe, Apple is always coming up with more and more ground breaking innovations. For example, there are some news that Apple is making AirPods traceable without the need tom use AirTags. 

This will be possible if you are using iPhone with IOS 15 and latest versions. Your phone will then receive radio frequency through the Bluetooth beacon mode. You can then use find my app and Find My network to trace your Air pods. 

Subscribe to this page to learn how exactly this is possible. You will be able to learn more about devices that will make your life a bi better than it is.  

Conclusion 

AirTags are such game changing devices from Apple. They are attached to your most valuable items which in turn keeps them safe. You however need to connect them to your Apple ID for them to work. Therefore, you need to have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with IOS 14.50 and latest versions. 

Some of the items that can be tracked using AirTag include your keys, backpacks, wallets, and bicycle. Since AirTags are not magnetic, you will need to find a way to attach them to the item you want to track.

You can use thin adhesive tapes to attach the AirTag to items such as cameras, wallets, AirPods, and purses. For pets, there are variety of AirTag collars that are only compatible with AirTags. You can also find some key chains with a casing where you can put the AirTag. 

If you have multiple items that you want to track, you can buy several AirTags. AirTags are very affordable. You can connect up to 16 items on one Apple ID. 

The guide above has all the information needed when using AirTags. You can also subscribe to this page to learn more about AirTags. 

References 

  1. Heinrich, A., Bittner, N., & Hollick, M. (2022, May). AirGuard-Protecting Android Users from Stalking Attacks by Apple Find My Devices. In Proceedings of the 15th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks (pp. 26-38).
  2. Mesquita, G. P., Mulero-Pázmány, M., Wich, S. A., & Rodríguez-Teijeiro, J. D. (2022). A practical approach with drones, smartphones, and tracking tags for potential real-time animal tracking. Current Zoology.
  3. Gao, C., Li, Y., & Zhang, X. (2018). {Live Tag}: Sensing {Human-Object} Interaction through Passive Chipless {Wi-Fi} Tags. In 15th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 18) (pp. 533-546).