AirTags: The new tracking helpers from Apple can do that

The new tracking helpers from Apple can do that

This is what Apple’s new AirTags look like.

© Apple

The Apple AirTags are now also available in stores – small tracking devices that track objects. Expensive gimmick or useful gimmick?

So now Apple is also entering the tracking device market: From Friday, April 30th, the so-called AirTags will be available in stores, which make it possible to localize objects. But isn’t it just a matter of conventional key finders that have been available for little money for many years? What’s so special? The news agency spot on news had the opportunity to test the little tracking helpers before sales started.

What are the AirTags actually intended for and how do they work?

The possible uses are diverse. The manufacturer from Cupertino thinks above all of keys, bags, purses or rucksacks; Items that can easily be lost or misplaced. But of course – at least in theory – that is far from over. However, anyone who thinks that children, pets or a stolen vehicle could also be perfectly tracked with it is wrong: The AirTags must also be within range in the “Where is?” Network of Apple devices used in order to enable precise location. The AirTags do not transmit a GPS signal that can be located anytime and anywhere.

If an AirTag is separated from the user and out of their own Bluetooth range, the “Where is?” Network from Apple can also help. This now consists of almost a billion Apple devices and can recognize Bluetooth signals from a lost AirTag and transmit the location to the owner via this detour. Another possibility is also available in “Lost” mode. Here, the finder of an AirTag can use his iPhone or any other NFC device to send contact options so that keys and the like can be returned to the rightful owner.

Installation is child’s play

Installation is child’s play. To activate it, simply pull off a protective film and within a few moments you will be prompted by the iPhone next to it to add the device to your “Where is?” List. Just quickly assign a name and select an icon and you have your new product in the device list and can track it at will or play a sound on it to find it again. The prerequisite for this is the latest iOS 14.5 operating system on the iPhone or iPad.

The design is simple, but once again successful, as is typical of Apple. According to the manufacturer, the already installed battery should last at least a year, after which you can replace it yourself in a few simple steps. A standard CR2032 button battery is installed and can be bought anywhere. Data protection has also been considered. Communication is encrypted end-to-end and the device itself does not store any location data.

Expensive gimmick or market price for a useful gimmick?

Apple offers key, luggage and bag tags in different designs and colors between 35 and 45 euros as accessories, which in itself does not seem cheap. If you like it more expensive, you can fall back on the Hermés collection. The luxury label makes AirTag tags available for an incredible 299, 349 and 449 euros. The Belkin collection of pendants is cheaper here for only 13.95 euros. And the AirTags themselves? A single tracker is available for 35 euros, in a pack of four there are tracking aids for 119 euros.

For 35 euros you can even have the AirTags customized with an engraving. If you compare this with other manufacturers who have had similar Bluetooth key finders in their range for years, you are only a little expensive here. Ordinary devices are available for around 25 euros – often including a key fob. But: Of course, these devices cannot access Apple’s “Where is?” Network.