Hands-On With Apple's New AirTags

After years of waiting for the AirTags to debut, launch day is finally upon us and ‌AirTags‌ are now in the hands of customers. We got our ‌AirTags‌ in the mail today and thought we'd share a hands-on look for those who are still waiting for their orders or debating whether ‌AirTags‌ might be useful.



As you probably know by now, ‌AirTags‌ are small, coin-shaped Bluetooth item trackers similar to Tile that you're meant to put on items that might be misplaced like keys, wallets, jackets, and more. They integrate into the Find My app under the Items tab and can be conveniently tracked right alongside your Apple devices.

‌AirTags‌ come in typical Apple easy-open packaging, and once unboxed, pairing an AirTag is a matter of pulling off the plastic packaging and holding it close to the iPhone. The ‌iPhone‌ immediately recognizes the AirTag and you can go through the setup process, naming the AirTag and registering it to your Apple ID.

Once registered, the AirTag shows right up in the ‌Find My‌ app, relaying its location back to you. ‌AirTags‌ have many of the same ‌Find My‌ features as Apple devices, so you can put them into Lost Mode and play a sound to locate them.

If you have an ‌iPhone‌ 11 or iPhone 12 model there's a useful Precision Finding feature for locating an item that's lost nearby like keys that have fallen into a couch cushion, and if an AirTag is lost far away, it can take advantage of the ‌Find My‌ network, using billions of active Apple devices to help you track down its location.

Design wise, the AirTag has a white plastic front and a stainless steel backing, which will undoubtedly scratch easily depending on where the AirTag placed. The front side can be engraved by Apple with letters and emoji, but it's worth noting that there is no hole for attaching a keyring or any other built-in attachment method.

Apple instead expects people to buy add-on accessories for each AirTag, and Apple's own accessory options are priced starting at $29. Luckily third-party companies like Belkin are selling cheaper holders, but it's still an added expense.

‌AirTags‌ are equipped with CR2032 batteries that will last for a good year before needing to be replaced, and you can push and twist the front of the AirTag off to get to the battery compartment. This is also the method used for resetting an AirTag or finding the serial number.

You can get ‌AirTags‌ from Apple for $29 or $99 for a pack of four, and they're also available from third-party retailers. Engraved ‌AirTags‌ only come from Apple, though there are some month-long waits right now.

Did you get an AirTag? Let us know what you think of Apple's tracker in the comments below.

Related Forum: AirTags

Top Rated Comments

unobtainium Avatar
19 months ago
The use cases I can (personally) see for these things would be invalidated by the stalking countermeasures. For example I’d love to be able to track my bike if it’s stolen, but the thief would be notified by their iPhone (if they have one) that they’re being tracked, and given the option to disable it. Even if they didn’t have an iPhone, the airtag would begin beeping.

I wonder how this works with luggage too. Is your airtag going to start notifying baggage handlers that they’re being tracked?? The whole thing just seems unusable for moving objects and pointless in cases of theft. The only remaining use case I can imagine is if I lost my own stuff, which I never have. Maybe one in the car to locate it in the parking lot??
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Fabian90 Avatar
19 months ago

The use cases I can (personally) see for these things would be invalidated by the stalking countermeasures. For example I’d love to be able to track my bike if it’s stolen, but the thief would be notified by their iPhone (if they have one) that they’re being tracked, and given the option to disable it. Even if they didn’t have an iPhone, the airtag would begin beeping.

I wonder how this works with luggage too. Is your airtag going to start notifying baggage handlers that they’re being tracked?? The whole thing just seems unusable for moving objects and pointless in cases of theft. The only remaining use case I can imagine is if I lost my own stuff, which I never have. Maybe one in the car to locate it in the parking lot??
As far as I understand, the thief will only get notified if either he gets home or 3 days have passed since the AirTag last connected to your phone.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tumbleweed666 Avatar
19 months ago

If you’ve used a Hermes holder then I’d say most definitely.
I'm waiting for the report where the Hermes holder was stolen, leaving the airtag behind
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
anek007 Avatar
19 months ago
Give it couple more months when more people have it. Play the find my sound in a crowded place and have everyone looking at their airtag device. ? Apple needs an option for more alert sounds.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DotCom2 Avatar
19 months ago

The use cases I can (personally) see for these things would be invalidated by the stalking countermeasures. For example I’d love to be able to track my bike if it’s stolen, but the thief would be notified by their iPhone (if they have one) that they’re being tracked, and given the option to disable it. Even if they didn’t have an iPhone, the airtag would begin beeping.

I wonder how this works with luggage too. Is your airtag going to start notifying baggage handlers that they’re being tracked?? The whole thing just seems unusable for moving objects and pointless in cases of theft. The only remaining use case I can imagine is if I lost my own stuff, which I never have. Maybe one in the car to locate it in the parking lot??
You need to do some more reading on these.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
axantas Avatar
19 months ago

The use cases I can (personally) see for these things would be invalidated by the stalking countermeasures. For example I’d love to be able to track my bike if it’s stolen, but the thief would be notified by their iPhone (if they have one) that they’re being tracked, and given the option to disable it. Even if they didn’t have an iPhone, the airtag would begin beeping.

I wonder how this works with luggage too. Is your airtag going to start notifying baggage handlers that they’re being tracked?? The whole thing just seems unusable for moving objects and pointless in cases of theft. The only remaining use case I can imagine is if I lost my own stuff, which I never have. Maybe one in the car to locate it in the parking lot??
The main reason to get them is locating things, you have lost somewhere. It is not a locator for stolen things - there are GPS tracker for this. Things you have lost, or forgotten where you left them, usually do not move around and can be located in that "Apple Network" even - for example - your keys in the lost property office.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

airtag in hand

New York Attorney General Issues AirTag Consumer Alert Over Stalking Concerns

Wednesday February 16, 2022 9:47 am PST by
Though Apple last week announced changes to AirTags that will likely help cut down on unwanted tracking, officials are starting to take notice of complaints. New York Attorney General Letitia James today sent out a consumer alert with "safety recommendations" to protect New Yorkers from AirTags (via The Mac Observer). Across the country, Apple AirTags are being misused to track people and...
f1618938547

Police Find Unexpected Use for Apple AirTags

Monday July 19, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
The utility of Apple's AirTag item trackers have started to be seen in law enforcement when locating stolen property, according to recent reports. As reported by GadgetLite, an AirTag user in Boston was able to recover their stolen property with the help of the police and Apple's small tracking device. Earlier this month, the user discovered that his bike had been stolen. Thankfully, he...
AirTags from 2019 spotlit

Packaging Reveals Apple Was Preparing to Ship AirTags as Early as 2019

Friday April 30, 2021 7:45 am PDT by
AirTags, until their official announcement earlier this month, had remained one of the most rumored Apple products of the last few years. Initial reports about an Apple item tracker began to surface in 2019, and in the entirety of the two years that followed, AirTags' release seemed to be constantly imminent. Last week, FCC filings revealed that Apple began seeking regulatory approval and...
f1618938547

Apple Executive Says AirTags Designed to Track Items, Not Children or Pets

Thursday April 22, 2021 6:42 am PDT by
Following the announcement of AirTags this week, Apple's VP of worldwide iPhone product marketing, Kaiann Drance, and Apple's senior director of sensing and connectivity, Ron Huang, spoke with Fast Company about the Tile-like tracker and its design and privacy. Speaking about the design of AirTag, Drance says Apple wanted to create a simple yet unique design for the tracker, keeping in mind...
airtag in hand

AirTags Arriving Early to Some Customers

Wednesday April 28, 2021 4:58 pm PDT by
AirTags aren't set to officially launch until Friday, April 30, but some customers have mistakenly received their AirTags shipments already, with many of the early AirTags coming from Best Buy. MacRumors reader Johnny sent us a series of photos of his AirTags that he already has in hand, giving us a look at the packaging and a real-life look at the AirTags themselves outside of reviews. ...
airtag shipped order

AirTag Orders Moving to 'Shipped' Status for More Customers

Thursday April 29, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
AirTag orders are beginning to be marked as "shipped" for more customers on Apple's online store around the world, with most deliveries set to begin arriving to customers on Friday, April 30 launch day. A few lucky customers already received their AirTag orders earlier this week, providing us with a closer look at the unboxing experience. Priced at $29 each or $99 for a four pack, users can ...
airtag hermes

AirTag Hermès Currently Unavailable From Apple

Monday May 24, 2021 6:26 am PDT by
As reported by 9to5Mac, AirTag Hermès is currently unavailable for purchase from Apple or directly from the Hermès website. The reasoning behind the unavailability remains unknown. Apple's AirTags Hermès line features three separate styles, an AirTag with a Hermès keyring, bag charm, and luggage tag. All styles feature the standard AirTag with a removable backplate but engraved with...
f1618938547

Apple Announces AirTag Tracking Devices Starting At $29 Each

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today announced AirTag, a Tile-like Bluetooth tracking device that's designed to be attached to items like keys and wallets for tracking purposes, letting you find them right in the Find My app. AirTags are accessories for attaching to backpacks, luggage, and other items. Any U1 device like the iPhone 12 can be used for precision finding to guide you right to the item you're looking...

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tim cook spring loaded event

Six Major Products to Expect From Apple in 2023

Sunday September 25, 2022 10:57 am PDT by
As we approach the end of a busy product release season for Apple with only new iPads and Macs left to be announced over the next month or so, we're also setting our sights on 2023. Apple is rumored to have several major products in the pipeline for next year, including new Macs, a new HomePod, a VR/AR headset, and so much more. Other than new iPhones and Apple Watches, which are expected...
Tim Cook Apple Event

Gurman: New iPads and Macs May Be Announced Through Press Releases, No October Event

Sunday September 25, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Apple may decide to release its remaining products for 2022, which include updated iPad Pro, Mac mini, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, through press releases on its website rather than a digital event, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is currently "likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases,...
AirPods Max 2022 Colors

Ten Things AirPods Pro 2 Tell Us About AirPods Max 2

Saturday September 24, 2022 1:00 am PDT by
Upon the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple's lineup. Introducing several new features like Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best indications yet of what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max. Almost two years later, rumors...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
iphone 14 pro max deep purple

iPhone 15 'Ultra' Could Replace Pro Max Model Next Year

Sunday September 25, 2022 7:02 am PDT by
Apple is gearing up to possibly replace its "Pro Max" iPhone with an all-new "Ultra" iPhone 15 model next year, reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for the iPhone 15, Apple is planning a revamped design alongside USB-C and a potential name change. Apple could replace its "Pro Max" branding, which it started to use...
apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...