Apple today introduced AirTag, a small and elegantly designed accessory that helps keep track of and find the items that matter most with Apple’s Find My app. Whether attached to a handbag, keys, backpack, or other items, AirTag taps into the vast, global Find My network1 and can help locate a lost item, all while keeping location data private and anonymous with end-to-end encryption. AirTag can be purchased in one and four packs for just $29 and $99, respectively, and will be available beginning Friday, April 30.
AirTag is probably the worst kept secret at Apple over the last year or so, but it’s still great to see it hit the market. It’s interesting to note that AirTag uses a replaceable battery instead of being rechargeable. Apple says the battery should last over a year with everyday use.
Each AirTag is equipped with the Apple-designed U1 chip using Ultra Wideband technology, enabling Precision Finding for iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 users. This advanced technology can more accurately determine the distance and direction to a lost AirTag when it is in range. As a user moves, Precision Finding fuses input from the camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope, and then will guide them to AirTag using a combination of sound, haptics, and visual feedback.
I love Precision Finding. I’ve misplaced my iPhone before and using sound to find is helpful, but nowhere near as accurate and quick as what this will be.
AirTag is designed from the ground up to keep location data private and secure. No location data or location history is physically stored inside AirTag. Communication with the Find My network is end-to-end encrypted so that only the owner of a device has access to its location data, and no one, including Apple, knows the identity or location of any device that helped find it.
AirTag is also designed with a set of proactive features that discourage unwanted tracking, an industry first. Bluetooth signal identifiers transmitted by AirTag rotate frequently to prevent unwanted location tracking. iOS devices can also detect an AirTag that isn’t with its owner, and notify the user if an unknown AirTag is seen to be traveling with them from place to place over time. And even if users don’t have an iOS device, an AirTag separated from its owner for an extended period of time will play a sound when moved to draw attention to it.
Privacy and security. That’s Apple.