Apple AirTags are tiny tracking devices small enough to fit on a keychain. They’re perfect for keeping track of your purse, wallet, bike and other everyday items because they make noise when you’re looking for them. You can also use your phone to see their actual location if they’re within range of a compatible Bluetooth device. Here are 10 questions people commonly ask about AirTags.
1. Do AirTags Make Noise?
Apple AirTags make noise during setup and when you change the battery. Crucially, AirTags also make noise when you use the Find My app. The cheerful trill helps you locate a lost item that has an AirTag attached.
Additionally, if an unknown AirTag has been following you, the device will beep to alert you of its presence. This feature prevents you from using AirTags to track people or property.
2. How Often Do AirTags Make Noise?
Ordinarily, AirTags are silent. But if you’re using the Find My app to locate a missing item, you can press the Play Sound button to prompt your AirTag to make a noise. It will beep every few seconds until you tap Stop Sound.
You can even ask Siri questions like, “Where is my wallet?” If you have an AirTag in your wallet, it will start making noise to help you locate it.
Between eight and 24 hours after an AirTag is separated from its owner, it will start beeping every few seconds. The timing of when it starts is random to prevent bad actors from using AirTags to track people.
Unfortunately, AirTags won’t make any noise when the battery is running low. You can instead use the Find My app to see if you need to replace the battery. If an AirTag has a low charge, Low Battery will appear under its name.
3. How Long Does an AirTag Battery Last?
An AirTag battery — a disc-shaped CR2032 lithium battery — typically lasts for around one year or more. To replace it, unscrew your AirTag’s silver cap. Remove the old battery and insert the new one. Your AirTag should make a noise to indicate you successfully inserted a new battery. Finally, screw the cap back on to complete the process.
4. How Do You Set Up an AirTag for the First Time?
First, you’ll need an iPhone running iOS 14.5 or newer. You can also use an iPad that runs iPadOS 14.5 or newer. Start by removing the plastic wrapper and pulling out the battery tag. This is the first time your AirTag should make noise.
Bring your AirTag near your device. On the bottom of the screen, a window will pop up with an AirTag animation on it. Press the Connect button.
Your device will prompt you to name the AirTag. Choose one from the list or scroll down to create a custom name.
Next, a prompt will appear asking you to share your iPhone or iPad’s location. Press the Use This iPhone — or iPad — button. A popup will verify that you’re going to register your AirTag under your Apple ID.
If you don’t see a pairing window appear when you bring your AirTag close to your device, open the Find My app. Tap on the Items icon and select Add New Item. Then, select Add AirTag.
Your device will prompt you to pull the tab on your AirTag and bring it close by. This starts the connection process.
5. Do AirTags Have GPS Tracking?
AirTags are not GPS trackers. Instead, they use Bluetooth, and they must be within 33 feet of one of the world’s 1 billion iPhones to work. That makes them ideal for urban and suburban settings.
For example, you can’t use an AirTag to track your dog across your property — if she left the 33-foot perimeter around your house to roam through the pasture, the AirTag would become untraceable. And if she’s within 33 feet of your house, you can probably see her, anyway!
Similarly, AirTags are not a solution for hikers who want to ensure people can find them if they get lost. An actual GPS device, like a personal locator beacon or two-way communicator, is a better choice.
6. Are AirTags Waterproof?
AirTags are not waterproof, but they are highly water resistant. You shouldn’t submerge them — don’t use them to track your scuba gear! — but if you attach one to your bike and ride to work in the rain, it should be fine.
7. Do AirTags Work Without a Cellular Connection?
Yes. AirTags do not need cellular, Wi-Fi or GPS connectivity to work. Instead, they use Bluetooth to establish their location. However, you do need Wi-Fi or cellular data to use the Find My app on your phone or iPad.
8. Can Android Phones Use AirTags?
You can’t pair an AirTag with an Android phone. However, you can use an Android to help return a lost AirTag to its rightful owner.
Every AirTag contains a near-field communication (NFC) chip. If your Android is also equipped with NFC capabilities and you find an item with an AirTag attached, you can scan the AirTag by placing it near the back of your phone.
Once you scan the tag, an alert will appear on your screen that includes a web link, or your phone will automatically open an information page about the tag. You can then see if the item is marked as lost so you can return it to its owner.
9. How Much Do AirTags Cost?
AirTags cost $29, and it is a one-time purchase. There is no monthly fee or subscription plan to use an AirTag.
10. How Do You Attach an AirTag to an Item?
An AirTag doesn’t come with any holes, loops or keychains to help you attach it to an item. Instead, you’ll need to buy an AirTag holder — similar to buying a phone case for your phone — to attach it. You can get a set of four AirTag holders on Amazon for around $12. Most holders are equipped with a small metal loop so you can attach the AirTag to your keychain, luggage or bike.
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