May 20, 2024


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First impression of this ultra-wideband bluetooth tracker

On April 20, Apple introduced its long-awaited AirTags, which should help you find things. It has been able to order Apple’s junior assistants since April 23, and Amazon followed suit shortly thereafter. With AirTags, Apple isn’t the first company to develop trackers that can be used to find lost or lost items. Tile, Chipolo, Samsung and other companies have had solutions in the market for a long time. Apple is slightly ahead of the competition, however.

If you have to be a tracker yourself on Tile to help others find their way again, the Cupertino group can return to the very large Find My network, where hundreds of millions of Apple devices are supported. Shortly before the launch of AirTags, Apple also opened the network for accessory manufacturers who can now develop items for them. The first solutions from Chipolo, VanMoof and Belkin are already available.

But let’s get to AirTags, because I’m in front of me. The chips are Bluetooth trackers with UWB technology (Ultra Wideband technology enables accurate positioning and is supposed to limit location more closely to Bluetooth, for example) that you can attach to things like backpacks.

The AirTag is slightly larger than a Euro piece (32 mm in diameter, weighs 11 grams) and consists of two components: a stainless steel plate with the Apple logo and a plastic cover. The AirTag is IP67 certified, unlockable and contains, in addition to components with Bluetooth and UWB chipsets, a speaker and a CR2032 button cell. This should last up to a year and is user-replaceable, and there are also batteries called LIR2032 (if you’re looking). On requesting AirTags, you can customize younger players if you want. You can then put an emoji or up to four characters on the back, which isn’t always enough for full names.

AirTags have a security feature called “Pairing Lock” that protects against people who find the missing item and tear the AirTag away for them to use as their own. Pairing lock is compared to iPhone activation lock. “This means if you lose your AirTag, someone will not be able to pick up your AirTag and re-pair it with their phone and keep using it.Apple’s Ron Huang said. “This has been very effective for the iPhone, and we think it will be for the AirTag.

AirTags do not need their own internet connection. Instead, they use the aforementioned Find My network with nearly a billion iOS and Mac devices. Each AirTag sends a unique, encrypted Bluetooth ID. Other Apple devices can recognize this and forward the AirTag website directly to the owner’s Apple ID. In short: a third-party device detects a lost AirTag, anonymously notices the location, sends it to the network, and the user who suffered the loss is notified of the site.

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When you are tracking something, one of them has data protection concerns. Can I chase someone with these things? If users have an iPhone running iOS 14.5 or higher and someone secretly slips the AirTag into their pocket to track movement, the iPhone will warn them by sending a “AirTag found” notification.

This notification only appears if a follower by AirTag is not associated with your Apple ID or another iPhone in your area. This distinction is important so that the iPhone is not notified of AirTags that, for example B- belong to other people on the same bus you are traveling on. When spying users click on the notification, they are taken to the “Where is it?” App. Where they can tell the unwanted AirTag to sound a tone so that they can locate it.

What about Android users? Can I follow them unnoticed? After the AirTag has not been connected to the paired device for a certain period of time, AirTag automatically plays a tone informing the people around it of its presence. Currently, the AirTag needs to be out of range of the paired device for three days for it to sound, but Apple may extend or shorten this time with a future software update.

And if users find someone else’s AirTag in their possession, they can scan it using any NFC-enabled phone. Clicking the pop-up notification in the NFC reader takes you to an Apple website with instructions on how to turn off the AirTag and site features instantly – simply by removing the battery.

On the same page, users see AirTag’s unique serial number, which is also printed on the AirTag itself. Although they will not be able to identify the owner of the AirTag from this serial number, Apple can identify the owner because the unique AirTag serial number is associated with the Apple ID during the pair’s initial lock setup. From the interview with Apple employees:

“If you are concerned about the risk of persecution, you can contact law enforcement,” Durns notes. “Why [AirTag-]The serial number used is that it was associated with an Apple ID when you first set up AirTag, along with some additional information like your name, email address, birthdate, and similar things. [Apple] Law enforcement agencies, when asked, can be provided with appropriate powers and procedures.

Lots of theories, but what about practice? How is it set up and does it work with retrieval? Even if the text is long and may explain a lot – in principle you only need to apply “where is”:

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The preparation is described on a small piece of paper included with the scope of delivery. You really don’t have to read. Peel off the paper, thus making sure the AirTag is using its battery. Then you place it in the immediate vicinity of the iPhone – about 2-3 cm. IPhone will want to recognize and set up AirTag. It’s associated with your Apple ID, you can also set a name. You can really start with the self-test – and don’t pretend that you won’t pass this test, for fun! 🙂

You can see associated AirTags on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone in the Where Is It? On the “Items” tab. Here you can also rename it or store messages for finders in case you report the loss of your AirTag and someone has located it. If the key is missing, you can also search directly. There are two ways to do this, by using the Play Audio button or Audio Search button. Here, however, the search is endless, instead objects in the immediate vicinity are shown.

It can easily reach 10 meters, if there is a wall or floor between them, then maybe there is no connection. Then, you may only have the last location for your key in the house and you will have to hunt for the treasure if you don’t hear a sound. I worked on my 1a test, including direction information. Important: The exact location requires an iPhone 11 or higher, as UWB is used here.

AirTag or lost the product on it? Then you can report its loss in the “Where?” Application. So if the product is really gone and not in the immediate vicinity, you can also be notified when you find it. If you report the loss of AirTag, you can, as mentioned earlier, give your number so that the finder can contact you. It worked nicely in our test, even with an NFC-enabled Android smartphone.

If you carry your smartphone for the day, an Apple website will open, which provides status information. If the day is reported as lost, you can see the serial number and phone number, provided that the “loser” has identified it. But what if I give my wife the car and go for a few days. Will the AirTag sound the alarm? Yes, but you can completely ignore the alarm for things from your family group and for friends without family sharing, you can at least ignore the warnings / messages for the weekend or so. Interestingly, however, AirTags are currently spoken of in audio if they are separated from the owner and follow someone else in their home, important places, or even in the long term. Then there is information on the iPhone. But if you don’t have an iPhone, then you’ll only hear AirTag about 3 days later. This can be viewed as long from a tracking point of view. Let’s see if Apple still makes adjustments here. Perhaps the questions that no other manufacturer has been able to properly answer yet: How subtle is the line between “lending” a key versus tracking someone?

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At this point I would like to refer to that again Refer to the support document.

The following topics are covered there:

What if I find an AirTag or get a notification that an AirTag is near me?

When you find an AirTag or a missing item with the AirTag attached.

When the message “AirTag moves with you” is displayed.

When AirTag plays a tone.

Anything other than a first impression? The jacket is dust and waterproof according to IP 67. Yes, you may see scratches. No, AirTag is not intended for pets or people. You can register 16 bits to your Apple ID. There’s no hole in the AirTag, Apple and third-party suppliers have accessories on offer (and they’ll make stupid and stupid money). You can also ask Siri: “Where is my key.” Then the tone sounds. What would be cool: Declare things as especially important. Did you forget your wallet? Brttttt – Notification when I’m up close. At the end of the first impression, one thing remains: Superbly easy to set up and use. This is definitely one of the main criteria for many users – besides privacy and the sheer network size? When the house is quiet you can hear it, but it’s not a big chime: Here is the test.

Price: 1 € 35, 4 € 119. Mostly Very Necessary: ​​Interview Trailer. Price visualization: fair for what is offered, also without a subscription. A lost key or a child’s beloved toy weighs heavier. At the end of the day, you have to work your way through the chances of nausea – and whether or not you need something like AirTags. Or want. It is well known that possession is better than need. Pay attention to how many things you see when it is possible to go on vacation with several people without putting yourself and others in danger.

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