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.