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MacRumors has learned that "AirTag" is likely the marketing name of Apple's rumored Tile-like item tracking tags, which will help users keep track of their personal belongings, such as their keys, wallets, and backpacks. This name was initially uncovered in iOS 13.2 code, but it was unclear if it was a placeholder until now.

We've also learned that the tags will likely feature a removable CR2032 coin cell battery like the Tile Pro. Based on a prototype of the tag, removing and replacing the battery will require unscrewing the back cover and performing a counter-clockwise twisting motion. The new battery must be inserted with the plus sign facing up.

airtag-cr2032-battery.jpg

CR2032 batteries are not intended to be recharged and need to be replaced over time -- for example, the Tile Pro's battery lasts around one year. Users will be required to pull a tab on the AirTag to activate the battery, and then bring the tag near a device like an iPhone or iPad to initiate the pairing process.

The above information is based on a prototype of the AirTag, so the final plans could vary. Last month, for example, it was rumored that the tags will feature magnetic charging similar to the Apple Watch, but that would require a rechargeable battery.

MacRumors uncovered evidence of AirTags within iOS 13 code last year. The tags will be closely integrated with the new Find My app, which will be getting an "Items" tab. Users will receive a notification when they are separated from a tagged item, and if necessary, they can set an AirTag to start making sounds to help locate the lost item.

A few months ago, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple plans to launch the tags within the first half of 2020, although it is unclear if the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak will change that timeframe. Kuo expects the tags to support Ultra Wideband like iPhone 11 models, likely allowing users to find tagged items with greater accuracy than Bluetooth LE or Wi-Fi.

Article Link: Apple's Rumored Tile Competitor 'AirTag' May Have Removable Coin-Shaped Battery Like the Tile Pro
 

nicho

macrumors 68040
Feb 15, 2008
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That's funny, I think I've seen something of a very similar design to this - and with a replaceable CR2032 battery - before.


It's been out for two years.

edit: it's also obnoxiously large for a tracker... but in line with the awkward graphic posted in the news story.
 
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abhibeckert

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2007
292
353
Cairns, Australia
That's funny, I think I've seen something of a very similar design to this - and with a replaceable CR2032 battery - before.

It's been out for two years.
Apple's product is seven years old - they purchased an existing company (Tile) which is still operating today and you can buy them now if you don't want to wait for the official Apple one.

But all of the rumours seem to indicate Apple's launch will come with a redesign making the product much better than what's available now.
 
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nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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Apple's product is seven years old - they purchased an existing company (Tile) which is still operating today and you can buy them now if you don't want to wait for the official Apple one.

Lol, no, they didn’t. Far from it. Tile is pretty upset about changes made that impact their own functionality in preparation for Apple to release a competitor.


Tiles look nothing like the item I linked from Xiaomi. The rumoured Apple tag may well do. I find it unlikely that it will look like the mockup in the macrumors article from 17/1 because it lacks a flat surface for adhesion, and if the battery ends up being replaceable rather than rechargeable that’s a double nail in that coffin. It’s much more likely to look like the xiaomi item linked.

Plus the thing I linked to isn’t even a tracker. It is probably visually identical though. Funny how Apple gets a pass on copying design but other companies don’t.
 
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farewelwilliams

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Jun 18, 2014
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Looks like it should have been AirPower that would have charged this. Now they have to have removable batteries
 
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jpn

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Feb 9, 2003
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will be interesting to see if all a thief has to do to make the AirTag un-trackable is to remove the battery, but, at the same time apple has also made it locked to an iCloud account so that when/if a battery is re-inserted it can't be simply used by a different iCloud account until its wiped by the original iCloud account owner.
 
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cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
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will be interesting to see if all a thief has to do to make the AirTag un-trackable is to remove the battery, but, at the same time apple has also made it locked to an iCloud account so that when/if a battery is re-inserted it can't be simply used by a different iCloud account until its wiped by the original iCloud account owner.
Um. If the criminal wants to make it untrackable, why remove the battery instead of, I dunno, flushing the tracker down a toilet?
 
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nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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humor, especially sarcasm, does not travel very well.
s/he was making a comment about apple.

Apologies. Incidentally it was your earlier comment that led me to that reply 😉
 
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kimmen

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2016
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These Tile things are pretty much useless to actually find thing you have lost, because you have to be within bluetooth range to have any sort of contact with them.

Yes, you will get an alarm the second you lose something with a Tile on it! But then you are out of range (since that is the very method to detect the loss), and will have to retrace your steps if that is possible an hope to get in contact again.

And yes, you will see on the map where you lost contact. But again that is not where you lost the Tile...

And yes, other users can "crowd source" these things onto maps... But really: How big is the chance that someone else have that app running, and passes your lost Tile withing range at the same time?

No, Tile and Airtag is a not something you'll se attached to my things.
 
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liberte1776

macrumors 6502
Apr 3, 2014
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These Tile things are pretty much useless to actually find thing you have lost, because you have to be within bluetooth range to have any sort of contact with them.

Yes, you will get an alarm the second you lose something with a Tile on it! But then you are out of range (since that is the very method to detect the loss), and will have to retrace your steps if that is possible an hope to get in contact again.

And yes, you will see on the map where you lost contact. But again that is not where you lost the Tile...

And yes, other users can "crowd source" these things onto maps... But really: How big is the chance that someone else have that app running, and passes your lost Tile withing range at the same time?

No, Tile and Airtag is a not something you'll se attached to my things.

But if Apple can make these AirTags detectable by pretty much any iOS12 & higher devices out there, plus Macs, there will be a lot more "search parties" to help find your device. To complete the benefits of these, there would need to be an Android & Windows app that also searches -- then likelyhood of finding can increase...
 
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Stingray454

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2009
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These Tile things are pretty much useless to actually find thing you have lost, because you have to be within bluetooth range to have any sort of contact with them.

This. I've tried a couple of bluetooth based tags, and they are all pretty crap. I'd say the maximum distance they are usable is about 10 meters (maybe 20 if there is nothing between you and the tag, but that won't happen in real life).

I fly racing drones in my spare time, and tried tags on those as you often crash in the middle of the woods / other vegetation and have to search for ages to find them again. Tags only react when you're basically standing on top of it if it's for example lying in the grass.

I ended up using loc8tor (no affiliation), using a handheld "tracker" you can sense direction / proximity, actual range even with objects/vegetation between you and the tag is 100 meters or so. Soooo much better imo.
 
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jpn

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Feb 9, 2003
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These Tile things are pretty much useless to actually find thing you have lost, because you have to be within bluetooth range to have any sort of contact with them.

Yes, you will get an alarm the second you lose something with a Tile on it! But then you are out of range (since that is the very method to detect the loss), and will have to retrace your steps if that is possible an hope to get in contact again.

And yes, you will see on the map where you lost contact. But again that is not where you lost the Tile...

And yes, other users can "crowd source" these things onto maps... But really: How big is the chance that someone else have that app running, and passes your lost Tile withing range at the same time?

No, Tile and Airtag is a not something you'll se attached to my things.

these AirTags will use the new U1 chip. That yes, will count heavily on what you call "crowd sourcing", but will supply to the person whose article is lost an email or push notification - and that email/push notification is done automatically, without the person who was close to the lost article doing anything. In fact, that person will never even know they were near a lost object that needs to be tracked.
only iPhone 11 has this right now. but all future apple devices will.
 
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Unami

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2010
790
564
Austria
These Tile things are pretty much useless to actually find thing you have lost, because you have to be within bluetooth range to have any sort of contact with them.

Yes, you will get an alarm the second you lose something with a Tile on it! But then you are out of range (since that is the very method to detect the loss), and will have to retrace your steps if that is possible an hope to get in contact again.

And yes, you will see on the map where you lost contact. But again that is not where you lost the Tile...

And yes, other users can "crowd source" these things onto maps... But really: How big is the chance that someone else have that app running, and passes your lost Tile withing range at the same time?

No, Tile and Airtag is a not something you'll se attached to my things.

But the airtag is supposed to work like the offline tracking feature of the iphone, so it'll mesh-network using any iphone within range - chances are much bigger somebody with an iphone will be around. And then you'll be able to pinpoint it's location with UWB.

bzw., how else would you detect a loss than moving out of range? As long as you're in range, it's probably not lost yet, per definition of "lost"
 
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sidewinder3000

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Jan 29, 2010
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This seems like an odd rumor. It feels out of character for Apple to suddenly offer user-replaceable batteries. I suppose it will come down to how long they would be able to make a rechargeable battery last vs. a CR2032-style battery.
 
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Reason077

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Aug 14, 2007
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CR2032, and similar button-cell batteries, are a real danger to small children. They can kill if swallowed. I appreciate that this requires a screwdriver to remove, but still, button-cell batteries are something we should be looking to replace with something better in future products. Surely Apple could do better?
 
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jhollington

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2008
150
138
Toronto
This seems like an odd rumor. It feels out of character for Apple to suddenly offer user-replaceable batteries. I suppose it will come down to how long they would be able to make a rechargeable battery last vs. a CR2032-style battery.
If Apple is trying to keep the costs down, which makes a lot of sense for a device like this, a user-replaceable battery is more cost-effective than a rechargeable one — especially a wirelessly-rechargeable one.

While a traditional rechargeable battery with wired charging wouldn't be as expensive, requiring users to plug in their AirTags, which will likely be attached to keychains, actually seems kind of cumbersome as opposed to simply swapping out a coin cell battery once a year.
 
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