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Speculate no more, Apple’s AirTag is finally here to keep track of all you own

By Ken Wong - on 21 Apr 2021, 3:46am

Speculate no more, Apple’s AirTag is finally here to keep track of all you own

At Apple’s Spring-Loaded event that just concluded, Chief Executive Officer of Apple Tim Cook finally unveiled the company’s long-awaited tracking device – the AirTag.

These have been oft rumoured and Samsung even beat Apple to the punch when they launched their Galaxy SmartTag earlier this year.

But, better late than never with Apple unveiling the new accessory to help us keep track of what matters most to us.

Each round AirTag is small enough to be hung from a handbag, keychain, backpack, etc. Made from precision-etched polished stainless steel, they are IP67 water- and dust-resistant. A built-in speaker plays sounds to help locate AirTag, while a removable cover makes it easy for users to replace the battery. Apple claims a one-year battery life for AirTag.

Accessories cost extra. Image courtesy of Apple.

While AirTag can be used on its own, there are also a number of AirTag designed accessories including the Polyurethane Loop, the Leather Loop, and Leather Key Ring. Apple has again partnered with Hermès to develop Hermès accessories for the AirTag based on the brand’s iconic Clou de Selle signature.

 

How it works

Precision Finding is just that, precise instructions to where your items are. Image courtesy of Apple.

If the item with the AirTag is within Bluetooth range, users can use the Find My app to play a sound from the AirTag to help locate it. They can also ask Siri to find their item, and AirTag will play a sound if it is nearby.

If AirTag or item its connected to is separated from the user or out of Bluetooth range, then Find My network can help track it down. With close to a billion Apple devices on Find My network, they form an ecosystem to detect Bluetooth signals from a lost AirTag and can relay the location back to its owner, all in the background, anonymously and privately.

Even if your item is out of Bluetooth range, Find My network can still help locate it. Image courtesy of Apple.

What looked really cool during the launch of AirTag was Precision Finding. This creates overlay on your iPhone to help you find your lost item by using data from your iPhone’s camera, accelerometer, and gyroscope and visual, haptic, and audible feedback while you're searching.

Do note however, that Precision Finding needs the Apple-designed U1 chip using Ultra Wideband technology, meaning that only iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 users will be able to use it.

Users can also place AirTag into Lost Mode and be notified when it is in range or has been located by the Find My network. If a lost AirTag is found by someone, the owner’s previously registered contact number can be displayed.

AirTag instructions can also be verbal to help the vision-impaired. Image courtesy of Apple.

AirTag includes support for the accessibility features built into iOS. When using Precision Finding, for example, vision-impaired users will receive audio directions like “AirTag is 9 feet away on your left” thanks to VoiceOver.

Apple says that all of this detection of AirTag was designed from the ground up to keep location data private and secure with none physically stored inside AirTag or shared with Apple.

AirTag requires an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 14.5 or later, or an iPad running iPadOS 14.5 or later. These software updates will be available starting next week.


 

Pricing and availability

Some of the highlights of the AirTag.

Interested Singapore based customers will be able to order AirTag beginning at 8pm on 23 April. It will be available in packs of one and four for S$45 and S$149, respectively, from Apple’s local website, in the Apple Store app, at Apple Store locations, and through Apple Authorised Resellers. Customers who purchase an AirTag from apple.com/sg or the Apple Store app and add personalised engraving for free.

Apple says AirTag could also be available through carriers at the end of the month and if we receive more detail on who they are and pricing, we will update this article.

Apple-designed AirTag accessories include the Leather Key Ring in Saddle Brown, (PRODUCT)RED, and Baltic Blue for S$55. The Leather Loop in Saddle Brown and (PRODUCT)RED for S$59. The Polyurethane Loop in White, Deep Navy, Sunflower, and Electric Orange for S$45.

The Hermès  accessories.

We don’t have the pricing for the AirTag Hermès accessories. However, they will all be available for purchase on 30 April and we will update this article if we receive any further details.

Third-party vendors like Belkin aren't far behind with AirTag accessories. Image courtesy of Belkin.

Third-party vendors are also announcing AirTag accessories. Belkin for example is launching their Belkin Secure Holder in a Key Ring or with Strap for US$12.95 and comes in a number of colours. 

 

Other coverage:

Read our news on Apple’s new 24-inch iMac

Find out all about the new Apple TV 4K

Read all about the new M1 iPad Pro

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