Apple has announced a small tracking gadget known as AirTag, which will be available later this month. The small device – which is about the size of a Galaxy Minstrel chocolate – can be attached to your wallet, keys, sunglasses, or anything else. These items will then appear in the Find My app on your iPhone or iPad. Nifty, eh?
Apple already uses Find My to allow customers to track their Apple-branded gadgets, including the iPhone, AirPods, MacBook, and iPad. The Californian company recently opened up the app to third-parties, with electric bike manufacturers – like the award-winning VanMoof – jumping at the chance to add the ability to track their bikes from within the same app.
And now, you’ll be able to keep tabs on your keys from the same app too.
Each round AirTag is built from polished stainless steel. There’s a built-in speaker, which can play sounds to help you locate a mislaid AirTag, while a removable cover makes it easy for users to replace the battery when it runs out. AirTag uses the same setup experience as AirPods – just bring AirTag close to your iPhone and it will connect and pair to your Apple Account, where it will be accessible from all of your Apple devices.
During the set-up, you’ll be able to assign AirTag to an item and name it with a default like “Keys” or “Jacket,” or provide a custom name of their choosing. There’s also some fun icons to help differentiate between your tracked items visually too, with small illustrations of keys.
If you own an iPhone 11, 11 Pro, iPhone 12 or 12 Pro, Apple will offer some pretty precise directions when tracking an AirTag.
You’ll get a direction on-screen that points you in the right direction and an estimated distance to the item. So, whether you’re hunting for your keys inside the house, or looking for a wallet that fell out of your pocket in the park… you’ll be able hold your iPhone in front of you and know the exact distance and direction to your misplaced belongings.
If you don’t have a newer model of iPhone, you won’t have these turn-by-turn directions. Instead, you’ll be able to see the lost item on a map (provided by Apple Maps, naturally).
And don’t worry about your keys falling into water. AirTags are designed to be IP67 water-resistant. That certification means it’s able to survive (and continue broadcasting its location to your iPhone, so you can retrieve it) for around 30 minutes in up to a depth of one metre. Apple fans can also ask Siri to find their item, and AirTag will play a sound if it is nearby.
If AirTag is separated from its owner and out of Bluetooth range, the Find My network can help track it down. The Find My network is approaching a billion Apple devices and can detect Bluetooth signals from a lost AirTag and relay the location back to its owner, all in the background, anonymously and privately.
Users can also place AirTag into Lost Mode and be notified when it is in range or has been located by the vast Find My network. If a lost AirTag is found by someone, they can tap it using their iPhone or any NFC-capable device and be taken to a website that will display a contact phone number for the owner, if they have provided one.
AirTags will cost $29 in the United States, with UK pricing coming soon. Apple will also sell a four-pack of its AirTags – as let’s face it, we’ve all got more than one item that we’re constantly searching for before we can leave the house – for $99. AirTags will be available on April 30, 2021.
Apple lets you customise the design with emojis at check-out too. Like other engraving options available from the online Apple Store, it’s completely free.
“We’re excited to bring this incredible new capability to iPhone users with the introduction of AirTag, leveraging the vast Find My network, to help them keep track of and find the important items in their lives,” said Kaiann Drance, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing. “With its design, unparalleled finding experience, and built-in privacy and security features, AirTag will provide customers with another way to leverage the power of the Apple ecosystem and enhance the versatility of iPhone.”
Apple also used the event to announce a redesigned iMac powered by its own custom-designed processor, a new colour for the iPhone 12, and a new Apple TV set-top box.