AirTag is a small and portable tracking device released by Apple in April 2021 that can be attached to personal belongings such as keys, wallets, or bags. With its IP67 water resistance and ultra-wideband connectivity, it stands out from other tracking devices on the market. Setting up the AirTag is a breeze, all you have to do is remove the battery tab and hold it near your iPhone. This will prompt a dialogue box on your Apple iPhone’s screen, and you can then connect it to your device and register it to your Apple ID. The AirTag will then appear in the “Find My” app, making it easy to track your belongings.
The AirTag uses Bluetooth for proximity finding, which means that it needs to be within 33 feet or 10 meters of your iPhone to connect. This is the maximum Bluetooth range for iPhones. However, it’s important to note that Bluetooth connectivity can be affected by various factors such as walls between the devices. Additionally, if you have an iPhone 11 or later with a U1 chip, you can use the “Precision Finding” feature in the “Find My” app to locate the AirTag more accurately within the Bluetooth range.
How Far Can AirTag’s Bluetooth Reach?
To use an AirTag, you must first enable Bluetooth on your iPhone. This means that the AirTag relies on Bluetooth connectivity when it is in proximity to your phone. The maximum range for this type of connection on an iPhone is 33 feet or 10 meters. However, it’s important to note that Bluetooth connectivity can be affected by various factors such as walls between the devices. But if there is a clear line of sight, the iPhone’s Bluetooth connection will work well within this range.
If your AirTag is within Bluetooth range, you can use the Find My app to play a sound and locate it. The AirTag has a built-in speaker that is loud enough to grab your attention indoors unless it is under a pile of clothes or sofa cushions. Additionally, if you have an iPhone 11 or later with a U1 chip, you can use the “Precision Tracking” feature, which is the “Find Nearby” option in the Find My app.
How do you track your AirTag beyond your iPhone’s Bluetooth range?
Embed from Getty ImagesBut, what happens when you lose a tagged device and it’s no longer within Bluetooth range? In this case, AirTags rely on the ever-growing Find My network of Apple devices. As of Jan. 28, 2022, there are more than 1.8 billion Apple devices worldwide, which can communicate with each other and help locate lost devices. Therefore, if you misplace a tagged device or it’s stolen, you can use the Find My app to mark it as lost and wait for another Apple device to locate it.
When an Apple device enters the Bluetooth range of the AirTag, it updates the AirTag’s estimated location on the Find My network. The Find My app also shows the location of this device. Once there, you can use Bluetooth and Precision Finding to locate your device. As long as there are other Apple devices around, AirTags can be located anywhere in the globe thanks to the Find My network’s worldwide reach.
When someone comes across your lost AirTag, they can use Bluetooth and Precision Finding to locate it. Once they are close enough, they can tap their iPhone on the AirTag to receive an on-screen message via NFC. This message will display your name, contact details, and any other note you have set up to show up. This feature ensures that the person who finds your AirTag can contact you and return it to you.
AirTag: Things to Remember while Using it
If the AirTag is in an area without any Apple devices, the Find My network will still inform you about its last tracked location and the timestamp. However, you will only receive a notification when the location is available again. Keep in mind that Precision Tracking technology is not available in certain countries such as Armenia, Belarus, Nepal, Russia, and Ukraine. You can check the complete list of countries where ultra-wideband technology is not available on the official Apple website.
AirTags are great for tracking personal belongings, but it’s important to remember that, unlike other Apple devices such as iPhones and Apple Watch, they do not have GPS functionality. Additionally, AirTags do not support SIM cards or eSIM either. This means that an AirTag cannot determine its location. Instead, a nearby Apple device is used to help locate the tracker. Keep in mind that AirTag’s real-time location tracking is not as comprehensive as other GPS-enabled trackers. If you need more real-time location tracking, consider using a GPS-enabled tracker.
There are other trackers available with a better Bluetooth range than AirTag. For example, the Tile Mate offers a Bluetooth range of 250 feet or 76 meters which is more than seven times that of an AirTag. Additionally, Samsung also has small trackers called SmartTag that have a Bluetooth range of up to 400 feet or 120 meters. However, it’s important to note that none of these devices support the Apple Find My network.