AirTag Review: Smart Object Tracking Accessories Are Everything We Hoped For, And More
The Airtag must be the product of Apple easier to analyze in more than 20 years I've been covering the company. In addition to its operation, it is an interesting product because it is a new range of accessories. During the last week, I have incorporated the use of these tags that allow me to locate anything from the Search app (or Find My, in English) and this has been my experience.
The Airtag are an accessory that allows you to track objects. They are small and round, a little bigger than a coin and easy to store in backpacks, purses, suitcases, use them as a key ring - along with an accessory - or inside a purse.
Although it is not a new type of device, it is the first time that it has been deeply integrated with an operating system, in this case those of Apple , offering a series of advantages that, unfortunately, third-party devices cannot provide, for now. .
How are they configured?
The configuration of the AirTag is as simple as bringing one closer to the iPhone. Immediately a pop-up appears asking you if you want to pair it. You choose a name (keychain, backpack, or whatever you want) and that's it. There are no more steps. You don't have to download an app, you don't have to wait a few minutes, nothing. Everything happens in a matter of seconds.
From now on the AirTag can be located from the Find My application. Here I could end my review. Because everything is so simple and so simple that there is nothing more to say. The device is so small that it is quasi-invisible, it is beautiful together with its accessories to hang it from the backpack - I, for example, I have done it with a yellow synthetic loop.
And I will forget that it is there until the day I lose my keys, my backpack or some other object. It is exactly what Apple wants, that you forget that it is there. Disappearing technology, invisible technology is always the best.
Of course, when you remember or when you need it , you can always locate from the App Search (Find My).
What happens if you lose an object that comes with an AirTag
In case you lose an object that is accompanied by an AirTag, the search process has two phases. Once the Find My application is open, choose what you cannot find and press Search.
If you do it from an iPhone 11 or higher, the screen will show you the exact direction where you should go and the approximate distance of the object. It is surprisingly accurate. Apple achieves this through the U1 chip that relies on ultra-wide band (UWB) technology that allows to specify the direction — and not just the distance — of an object.
It also relies on the accelerometer and even on the smartphone camera to get the process of locating the AirTag that you cannot find.
In case that what was lost is not at the minimum distance necessary for a direct connection, then we can activate the lost mode. Let's not forget: AirTags do not have a GPS antenna , but are located once they are connected via Bluetooth with an Apple device.
With lost mode active, as soon as an AirTag is connected to an Apple device, it will send its approximate location to the owner of the accessory in a fully encrypted way . No third party, not even Apple, is going to know where you are. In addition , the position will be shown only from the App Search (Find My).
At this point, the owner will be alarmed that the device has been found and where. In addition, any device, be it iPhone or Android, can approach an AirTag and through NFC see basic information of its owner and thus contact him.
Here we have the biggest advantage of the AirTag over any other similar accessory. The vast number of Apple devices, more than a billion, that make up the Find My network .
In addition, if the AirTag has been separated from the device with which it has been paired for a while and detects a sudden movement, it begins to sound. This is useful when it has fallen somewhere inconspicuous but is accidentally kicked or moved by someone, as the alarm will make it easier to detect and find.
The latter has a second utility: preventing AirTags from being used to harass a person. They are tricks and ways that Apple has implemented to ensure everyone's privacy.
Can an AirTag be used to harass a person?
Which brings us to the number one concern that the introduction of AirTags has generated . Its possible use to harass another person and know where they are at all times. It would be as simple as depositing an AirTag in someone's backpack or purse and thus knowing its location at all times.
But it's not that simple. Apple has repeatedly explained that AirTags are designed to track objects, not people . So: if you have been separated from the device with which it is paired for more than a certain period of time not fully specified, it starts to sound if it detects movement.
That way, if you're walking around with an AirTag in your bag or backpack without realizing it, you'll inevitably hear it and find out it's there. In case you have an iPhone, information will appear advising you that there is one of these devices always accompanying you and it is not yours . In case you have an Android, you can zoom in and see information about its owner.
Apple doesn't give much information on how long it takes before the AirTag starts making noise if it detects movement away from the device it is paired with. It does so so as not to encourage its misuse. Also, that time period may change in the future.
The company has also clarified that there are ways to disable security alerts if you have an item with an AirTag that they loaned you. So you will not have the accessory emitting unnecessary annoying sounds.
Durable and with replaceable battery
The AirTags have an IP67 certification , that is, they resist dust, water and can be submerged up to a meter and a half without suffering damage. Does the chrome scratch? Yes. Is it a problem? No. They are objects that are designed for just that, and I suspect that most of the times we use an AirTag it will be covered by the accessory itself.One thing that I did not like is that the AirTag itself does not have a hole to pass a small cable to it or use it as a keychain without purchasing an extra accessory.For that, Apple sells keychains and straps. They are of high quality, but not necessarily cheap. Belkin offers alternatives at less than half the price (but not as pretty) and in a few weeks we will have endless options on Amazon and AliExpress at minimal prices. In fact, it is already easy to find keyrings for AirTags for 2 euros .The Airtag have autonomy of approximately one year. The battery is replaceable. They use CR2032 batteries , which are extremely inexpensive. On Amazon, for example, you can buy ten for 6 euros , 6 dollars or 199 Mexican pesos .
Apple AirTags: simple and useful
It is curious that one of the roundest Apple products with a rather surprising and careful interface design, is one of the things that you would like to never have to use. Because of course, nobody likes to lose things.
But in case it happens, I can't stop recommending the AirTags . They are not the cheapest product in their category, but they make up for it in their simplicity of setup, pairing, and the vast network of Apple devices that serve as a "mesh" to help you find whatever it is you missed.
The Airtag sell for $ 29 or 35 euros or in packs of four for $ 99 or 119 euros.