Apple unveiled the long-awaited AirTags at its “Spring Loaded” virtual event today, introducing them as accessories that join the company’s Find My service. The fobs can be customized with engravings of characters, letters and emoji. A Hermes edition will also be available, and the regular versions will cost $29 each when they arrive on April 30th. A four-pack will cost $99.
You’ll use the Find My app to locate your AirTag and any Apple phone with a U1 chip (like the iPhone 11 and 12 series) can give you AR overlays to direct you to your lost item. The company is calling this feature Precision Finding and it uses a combination of camera, accelerometer, gyroscope and ARKit data along with ultra wideband technology to locate your stuff down more accurately.
Your device will use sound, haptics and visual feedback like “Two feet to your right” to guide you to your belongings. Setting up an AirTag should also be simple, with a similar process to AirPods. When you bring your AirTag close to your iPhone, it should just connect and you can choose a name for the fob.
Those who aren’t using an iPhone 11 or 12 will still be able to use the AirTags via Bluetooth LE, just without the Precision Finding tool. You’ll need to be running iOS or iPadOS 14.5 or later, and both those software updates will be available starting next week.
The AirTags are rated IP67 for water and dust resistance so you won’t have to worry too much about them getting damaged outside, and Apple promises the removable battery will last over a year. There’s a built-in speaker so the tag can ring to let you know where it is. You can ask Siri to find each fob by its assigned name, and it will play a sound if it’s within range.
It’s designed to track items, not people, Apple said during its event, so there are features built in like unwanted tag detection, rotating identifiers and audible alerts from unknown tags. Apple isn’t the first to do this — Samsung unveiled a similar feature with its SmartThings network recently, too.
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