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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
57,006
19,892


Apple's AirTag tracking devices can be identified by Android phones when they're in Lost Mode, according to a new support document published by Apple.

airtag-notification.jpg

Announced on Tuesday, Apple's new AirTag item trackers let you easily track things like your keys, wallet, purse, backpack, luggage, and more. They work using an ultra-wideband U1 chip to keep in touch with the Find My network.

However, what Apple didn't highlight in its announcement is that when an AirTag is placed in Lost Mode by the user, its discovery message be read by any NFC-enabled device, including not just iPhones but also Android phones.

According to Apple, tapping an AirTag and holding the white side to an iPhone or other NFC-capable device will display a notification with a tappable link that offers information about the AirTag, including whether it has been marked as lost by the owner and their contact details. From the support document:
Tap and hold the top of your iPhone or NFC-capable smartphone to the white side of the AirTag. Tap the notification that appears. This opens a website that provides information about the AirTag, including its serial number. If the owner marked it as lost, you might see a message with information about how to contact the owner. You can contact the owner to let them know that you found their AirTag. You can view a Lost Mode message on any NFC-capable smartphone, such as an iPhone or Android phone.
It's worth noting that AirTags require an iOS device and Find My to set them up, so it's not as if this means the trackers will be useful to Android users, but their NFC compatibility does mean that Apple users have a higher chance of recovering lost items.

‌AirTags‌ start at $29 each or $99 for a four-pack. Online orders open this Friday, April 23, with ‌AirTags‌ shipping April 30.

Article Link: Lost AirTags Can Be Read By NFC-Enabled iPhones and Android Devices
 
Last edited:

sirozha

macrumors 68000
Jan 4, 2008
1,789
2,106
The big question here is if most iPhone (and especially Android) users will know to scan the airtag with their smartphone.

Instead if beeping, the air tag should be saying “touch with your smartphone” to let the person know what to do with this contraption. Or it should say it in writing on the airtag. Now that I think of it, I will probably have my phone number engraved on all of my airtags.
 

EmotionalSnow

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2019
265
820
Linz, Austria
The big question here is if most iPhone (and especially Android) users will know to scan the airtag with their smartphone.

Instead if beeping, the air tag should be saying “touch with your smartphone” to let the person know what to do with this contraption. Or it should say it in writing on the airtag. Now that I think of it, I will probably have my phone number engraved on all of my airtags.
You won't be able to engrave your whole phone number. Your best bet is a probably permanent marker.
 

Pupi

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2015
375
709
It’s actually also plainly described in the product’s page:

E09FA1AF-97A3-4C11-82C6-E9A9A56B4F1A.jpeg
 

bollyboy

macrumors regular
Apr 21, 2010
221
5
Manchester - UK
Do AirTags support geofencing? Can I set it in a way that if a tag leaves a certain perimeter or becomes out of range, I will be alarmed?
Chipolo currently have this on there one model “out of range alert” but it’s not in the upcoming model specifically for find my app so be interesting to see if it’s in airbags as I dropped my keys when hiking and had the Alert 100 metres or so further on
 

Mgkwho

macrumors 6502a
Mar 2, 2005
593
25
They should include one with every future launch day device and let us add it to our find my, so we can track the delivery :p

Or just build it into portable devices natively so that stolen devices when powered off still can be located.
 

4487549

Cancelled
Jun 8, 2017
551
612
I can see using them for keys and pets, but how can you misplace a backpack or suitcase?

I've had 2 backpacks stolen on job sites. Each contained a MBP. An AirTag would have helped me locate both with enough time to save my stuff.
 

Homme

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2014
832
765
Sydney
How did you figure? Even the second generation iPhone SE doesn’t have the U1 chip. Only iPhone 11 and 12 have the U1 chip as of now.

that is not what I said. Look carefully what I said and try again.

I didn’t say the U1 chip. I mentioned something than even Android phones have access to
 

jimthepcguy

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2016
7
2
Do AirTags support geofencing? Can I set it in a way that if a tag leaves a certain perimeter or becomes out of range, I will be alarmed?
Since they will show in “Find My” which already has notifications based on location I’d venture to say Yes. They will be visible to capable devices signed in with your AppleID and in your Family Sharing Group. So if I set one up for my dog and he escapes when I’m not home my wife can attempt to locate him with her iPhone.
 
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