AirTags: Everything We Know So Far

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple is working on a Tile-like Bluetooth tracking device that's designed to be attached to items like keys and wallets for tracking purposes, letting you find them right in the Find My app.

Based on assets found in iOS 13.2 and trademarking details dug up by MacRumors, Apple seems to be planning to call its tracking accessory the "AirTag."

A mockup of what AirTags could look like​

AirTags are still in the works and there's no prospective release date yet, but signs of them have been found in iOS 13 betas so we do know a bit about what we can expect when they're available. This guide goes over everything that we know about AirTags at the current time.

What are AirTags?

AirTags are small tracking tiles with Bluetooth connectivity that can be used to find lost items. There are several similar products on the market, such as Tile and Adero, but Apple's version will be more deeply integrated with Apple devices.

How will AirTags work?

AirTags will have built-in chips that will allow them to connect to an iPhone, relaying the position of devices that they're attached to. You will be able to use your iPhone, iPad, and Mac to track the location of AirTags much like you do to find missing Apple devices.


What will AirTags look like?

Based on images found within an internal build of iOS 13, AirTags are small, circular white tags with an Apple logo on the front. Presumably, these will attach to items via adhesive or an attachment point like a ring, and there may be multiple ways to use them with different items.


AirTags might not look quite like this because it could be a placeholder image, but this is the only information that we have at this time.

How will tracking items with AirTags work?

AirTags will show up in a new "Items" tab that will be available in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices and your friends and family. With AirTags, the Find My app will be a one stop shop for anything that you want to find.


AirTags, like a lost iPhone or iPad, will show up on a map and will have an address listed where they can be tracked to.

What will happen if I lose an item that has an AirTag?

Based on code found in iOS 13, if you lose an item that has an AirTag on it, you'll get a notification on your iPhone. You'll then be able to tap a button in the Find My app that will cause the AirTag to chime loudly so you can locate something that's lost nearby.

It also appears that augmented reality will play a role in tracking down lost items. The Find My app may include an ARKit feature that lets you use augmented reality to track down an item that's nearby, with Apple using balloon assets to let you know visually where an item might be.


There's a string of code in iOS 13 that reads "Walk around several feet and move your iPhone up and down until a balloon comes into view."

Will AirTags still work if my item is far away?

Yes. If an item is not nearby and can't be located, you can put it into Lost Mode. In this mode, if another iPhone user comes across the list item, they'll be able to see your contact information so they can send you a text or give you a phone call to let you know the item has been found.

You'll also receive a notification as soon as an iPhone comes across your lost item. This feature that lets any iPhone detect a lost item is part of iOS 13, and it leverages Bluetooth to locate lost Apple devices and when released, AirTags.

Will I be able to set boundaries for AirTags?

Yes. In the Find My app, you can create Safe Locations. If an item with an Apple Tag is in a safe location (such as your home), you're not going to receive a notification when it's left behind.

If it leaves the safe location, you'll get a notification. You can also share the location of items with friends and family.

How accurate are AirTags?

AirTags are rumored to be more accurate than your average Bluetooth item tracker like Tile because they're said to take advantage of ultra-wideband technology, which basically offers more accurate indoor positioning.

Apple's newest iPhones have a U1 ultra-wideband chip so they're going to be able to track ultra-wideband equipped AirTags more precisely than is possible with Bluetooth alone.

What will AirTags cost?

There's no word on what Apple's AirTags will cost at this point in time, but similar products from companies like Tile are priced in the range of $25 to $35 for a single Bluetooth tracker.

Tile Bluetooth tracking tags​

Apple's AirTags could be priced similarly.

When will AirTags be released?

There were signs of AirTags in an Apple internal build of iOS 13 and later versions of iOS 13, but we haven't heard any rumors pointing towards a specific release date for AirTags.

For that reason, it's not entirely clear when the AirTags will be released. They could potentially come before the end of the year, but Apple may also be waiting until 2020.

AirTags Rumor List

[*]Exclusive: iOS 13's Hidden 'Items' Tab for 'Apple Tags' Revealed
[*]Exclusive: Apple's Tile Competitor Will Include 'Items' Tab in iOS 13's Find My App and Much More
[*]Kuo: 'Apple Tags' to Feature Ultra-Wideband Technology, Likely Far More Precise Than Tile's Trackers
[*]Apple's Rumored Tile Competitor May Offer ARKit and Leashing Capabilities
[*]Apple's Rumored Tile-Like Bluetooth Tracker May Be Called 'AirTag'
[*]Did Apple Just Acquire Trademark Rights to the 'AirTag' Name?
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Article Link: AirTags: Everything We Know So Far
 
Last edited:

DinkThifferent

macrumors member
Oct 18, 2018
88
120
The Netherlands
Will definitely turn my Blue Tooth off as it might drain the battery if those things will try to constantly discover or connect to my phone.
I have bluetooth always on due to my Apple Watch and also to connect my BT headphones. Similarly i have BT turned on, on my iPad to listen to music or play games. I have never noticed my iPad (or phone) to die quicker with BT turned on then with BT turned off.

BT used to be a battery killer, but ever since Bluetooth 4 was introduced it has hardly any impact on the battery anymore. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth#Bluetooth_4
 

MoreRumors?

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2018
782
579
TBH, after Apple merged Find My Friends and Find My Device, it doesn’t seem to work as well and there is no Refresh tab in the new Find My app. I would hold off on investing these until the app improves. Find People option seem to take quite a while before it locates the person. At times, I find the Find Device to be inaccurate at times too.
 
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JCarmona

macrumors member
May 23, 2014
95
55
Geez! You have more information than what Apple will put in their website *IF* they actually launch... *cough* Airpower *Cough*
 

marc1184

macrumors newbie
Aug 30, 2016
14
18
If you go to the new AirPods Pro website, at the bottom you can preview the AR used to find the lost AirPods Pro. I’m sure this will be how AirTags will show up as well.
 
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Mike MA

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2012
2,039
1,653
For me this one looks like a preferred candidate to access the circle of brickable devices due to allegedly missing wired restore options. HomePod, Apple Watch and TV are proud members already.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,673
30,951
I love the concept of these, and I think they’re going to be ridiculously popular. But speaking for myself, I’m not one to misplace things, I always tend to have track mentally somewhere where all my belongings are. Now, we all lose things at some time, maybe it’s just because I’m just organized/structured that I don’t feel this product would be for me, but I definitely _could_ make the recommendation for several people I know that would love something like this.