It’s easy to lose things as a parent, such as your keys, wallet, or Buttons. This situation does not belong to clothing fasteners, but rather to a plush bunny that has become a family heirloom. Bedtimes have been delayed on occasion when Buttons has gone missing, necessitating a family manhunt (or bunny hunt) so we can concentrate on sleeping.
So it came as no surprise to me when a stuffed animal appeared during Apple’s event announcing AirTags, a tiny tracker similar to Tile or Samsung’s Galaxy Smart Tags that could spare its users the hassle of misplaced keys or sleepless nights due to a missing stuffed animal.
I’ve been using AirTags for almost a week already, and they’re pretty good at keeping track of your belongings, stuffed or not.
Each AirTag costs $29, or you can get a four-pack for $99 at Apple’s website or at retailers. Holders and keyrings are also available, with prices ranging from $13 to $39.
The configuration is simple: after you unlock the AirTags by pulling the plastic button, your iPhone will prompt you to attach. Then you can mark them with things like keys, backpacks, or anything you want.
There are a few options for keeping the AirTag stuck to your belongings. You should simply slide the AirTag into a bag or wallet. It’s about the size of a checkers game piece, so it doesn’t take up much space.
A CR2032 replaceable coin cell battery powers each AirTag, which is typically used in devices like calculators and car key fobs. It lasts approximately a year. A short twist of both thumbs on the back of your AirTag unlocks the button and reveals the battery.
You may also purchase an AirTag loop, which comes in plastic or cloth. You insert the AirTag into the holder and tie it around a backpack strap, for example. If you like something more lightweight, there’s even a key ring.
The iPhone’s Find My app is used to track AirTags. There are Items next to Devices, this is where you can see where your iPhone, iPad, or other Apple products are. The monitor will show you a map and the location of your AirTagged object.
AirTags has a Precision Finding option, which is a good addition. The Find My app will switch from directions to Find until you’ve got a certain distance away from the object. The system is only functional when it is within Bluetooth range. Your iPhone must be within 33 feet of the Bluetooth device, according to an Apple help website.
When Find is turned on, a green indicator with an arrow and an estimated distance from your tagged object appears. This is where you and your iPhone engage in a little “hot and cold” challenge. The iPhone starts ringing louder as you get closer until you’re right next to the AirTag. It comes in handy if you miss anything under the cushions of a sofa or under a blanket. Users may also use the AirTag to make a sound to alert them to its presence.
In one test, I walked away after leaving a set of keys with AirTag outside. I was able to cross around 40 to 50 feet with Find until it lost touch.
If you misplace things, such as your keys, go to Find Me and put it in Lost Mode. You’ll get updates about the approximate position of the AirTagged object until it’s active.
In the event that an AirTag you don’t own winds up in your hands, the AirTags have the functionality to discourage unintended monitoring. When you arrive at a significant spot, such as your house, you will get a warning stating that an AirTag is traveling with you. However, according to many sources, including one in The Washington Post, the Airtags may be used for undetected stalking or monitoring.
The AirTag will quickly fall off, even with a loop. When it was turned on, though, it was really successful. As a result, if you’re a parent who relies on AirTags to locate your child’s favorite stuffed toy, you might have to be imaginative in order to keep it attached.