Distracted around the world, rejoice! Even Apple – yes, the iPhone manufacturer – cares about you (or rather, us) and has announced the arrival (in Italy on April 30) of a device the size of a coin that promises to prevent us from losing the objects we care about. It is called AirTag and it is a mini locator that can be hooked to keys, bags, bicycles, scooters and all those things that we always lose sight of. We tried it in preview: here’s how it went.
We open the package – elegant and sustainable (made with wood fibers that are recycled or come from responsibly managed forests) in perfect Apple style – and we find a sort of button inside.
On the one hand it is candid and smooth, and here it is possible, by purchasing on the Apple Store, to have an engraving made for free to make your AirTag even more personal: you can choose between text and a selection of 31 emojis. The other side, however, is polished stainless steel and precision engraved door the apple logo in the center. We immediately understand that it is a “lid” that hides the battery which, after about a year of daily use, can easily be removed and replaced. And nothing else: no buttons, no wires, no writing, nothing. Because the magic is within it. In addition to the transmitter that can communicate with our iPhone – for the occasion we try it with iPhone 12 in the brand new purple color, also presented during the last keynote – AirTag has un built-in speaker that plays sounds to help locate it. But the “brain” of AirTag is the Apple-designed U1 chip that uses Ultra Wideband technology, enabling Precision Finding for iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 users.
To attach our “button” to the objects we want to trace, you can choose from a series of elegant accessories, including the Polyurethane Loop, the Leather Loop and the specially tanned European leather key ring. We choose a brown leather keychain and we assure you the tracker.
How to use?
When we bring AirTag close to the phone (required iOS 14.5 which will be available for all devices from next week and is compatible with iPhone 6S and later models) click on “associate” and that’s it. In fact, from now on we will be able to check where our keys are directly from the «Where is» app. We can also decide to assign a default name to AirTag: in this case we choose «Keys». We can search for the object directly on the map, using the Find option (and see how many meters from us the object is) or decide whether to make it ring to locate it when it is a short distance from us and therefore within the Bluetooth range. , or ask Siri directly to make it sound. The emitted sound is loud enough to be distinctly heard even if the keychain is inside a bag, or inside a drawer.
But we can locate the AirTag even when it is out of Bluetooth range, taking advantage of the Find My network which has nearly a billion Apple devices and can detect Bluetooth signals from a lost AirTag and transmit the location to its owner, all in the background. , anonymously and privately.
If we think we have lost an object or that it has been stolen, we can put the AirTag in «Lost» mode and we will receive a notification when it is located by the Find My network. At this point one must hope in the good heart of those who spot it and that they will be able to touch it using their iPhone (or any device with NFC capability) and be taken to a website that will show a phone number of the owner, if they have provided one. And so we should get back the lost keys.
What about privacy?
Someone will have some hesitation in thinking of “networking” with strangers. But Apple also this time takes pride in the security and privacy protection system, promising that our data of location will be kept private and secure: no data is physically stored inside the gadget and communication with the Find My network is encrypted so that only the owner of a device has access to its location data.
Apple is keen to point out that AirTag is designed to be used on objects and not on people. In fact, perhaps also to prevent every jealous lover from knowing at any moment where his beloved is, iOS devices can also detect an AirTag that is not with its owner and notify it. Nothing, however, is specifically said on animals and, probably, we won’t last long before trying it on our dog. We will keep you posted.
When and how much?
AirTag will be available in single or four packs, respectively at € 35 and € 119, from April 30th and will be available for order starting at 2pm on Friday April 23rd.