AirTags: Everything We Know So Far

by

Apple is working on 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.

Based on assets found in iOS 13.2 and trademarking details dug up by MacRumors, Apple seems to be planning to call its tracking accessory the "AirTag."

airtags mockup 4 blue

A mockup of what AirTags could look like

AirTags are still in the works and there's no prospective release date yet, but signs of them have been found in iOS 13 betas so we do know a bit about what we can expect when they're available. This guide goes over everything that we know about AirTags at the current time.

What are AirTags?

AirTags are small tracking tiles with Bluetooth connectivity that can be used to find lost items. There are several similar products on the market, such as Tile and Adero, but Apple's version will be more deeply integrated with Apple devices.

How will AirTags work?

AirTags will have built-in chips that will allow them to connect to an iPhone, relaying the position of devices that they're attached to. You will be able to use your ‌iPhone‌, iPad, and Mac to track the location of AirTags much like you do to find missing Apple devices.

airtagsetup

What will AirTags look like?

Based on images found within an internal build of iOS 13, AirTags are small, circular white tags with an Apple logo on the front. Presumably, these will attach to items via adhesive or an attachment point like a ring, and there may be multiple ways to use them with different items.

apple item tag
Jon Prosser, who has a mixed track record when it comes to Apple, shared renders that he says are based on the actual design of the AirPods. The renders feature a flat white disc with no logo on the front and a silver backing with an Apple logo. Prosser has also shared a video that features a 3D animation that could appear when pairing AirTags to an Apple device.

slack imgs
Prosser says that the AirTags are a "tad larger than a bottle cap" and that AirTags will come with a keychain that has a "little leather pouch on it" to accommodate the AirTags.

Leaker L0vetodream has suggested that AirTags are going to be available in two sizes, large and small, though it's unclear why two sizes would be required.

How will tracking items with AirTags work?

AirTags will show up in a new "Items" tab that will be available in the ‌Find My‌ app right alongside your Apple devices and your friends and family. With AirTags, the ‌Find My‌ app will be a one stop shop for anything that you want to find.

airtagsetup2
AirTags, like a lost ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌, will show up on a map and will have an address listed where they can be tracked to.

What will happen if I lose an item that has an AirTag?

Based on code found in iOS 13, if you lose an item that has an AirTag on it, you'll get a notification on your ‌iPhone‌. You'll then be able to tap a button in the ‌Find My‌ app that will cause the AirTag to chime loudly so you can locate something that's lost nearby.

It also appears that augmented reality will play a role in tracking down lost items. The ‌Find My‌ app may include an ARKit feature that lets you use augmented reality to track down an item that's nearby, with Apple using balloon assets to let you know visually where an item might be.

balloons find my item
There's a string of code in iOS 13 that reads "Walk around several feet and move your ‌iPhone‌ up and down until a balloon comes into view."

Will AirTags still work if my item is far away?

Yes. If an item is not nearby and can't be located, you can put it into Lost Mode. In this mode, if another ‌iPhone‌ user comes across the list item, they'll be able to see your contact information so they can send you a text or give you a phone call to let you know the item has been found.

You'll also receive a notification as soon as an ‌iPhone‌ comes across your lost item. This feature that lets any ‌iPhone‌ detect a lost item is part of iOS 13, and it leverages Bluetooth to locate lost Apple devices and when released, AirTags.

Will I be able to set boundaries for AirTags?

Yes. In the ‌Find My‌ app, you can create Safe Locations. If an item with an Apple Tag is in a safe location (such as your home), you're not going to receive a notification when it's left behind.

If it leaves the safe location, you'll get a notification. You can also share the location of items with friends and family.

Will there be sounds?

The ‌Find My‌ app will provide sounds when you face the right direction when locating an AirTag, letting you know when a lost device is ahead of you, when you're nearby, or when it's in arms reach, with discouraging tones letting you know if you're off course.

How accurate are AirTags?

AirTags are rumored to be more accurate than your average Bluetooth item tracker like Tile because they're said to take advantage of ultra-wideband technology, which basically offers more accurate indoor positioning.

Apple's newest iPhones have a U1 ultra-wideband chip so they're going to be able to track ultra-wideband equipped AirTags more precisely than is possible with Bluetooth alone.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the use of an ultra-wideband chip in AirTags will "enhance the user experience of iOS's 'find' and augment reality (AR) applications by offering measurement functions in the short distance."

Will there be a replaceable battery?

Apple's AirTags could feature a removable and replaceable CR2032 coin battery, similar to the Tile Pro. A description of the tag found in iOS 14 code suggests the battery can be swapped out by unscrewing the back cover of the AirTag and then performing a counter-clockwise twisting motion.

A CR2032 battery would not be rechargeable and would require the battery to be replaced each year on average. The existence of the removable battery conflicts with other rumors that have suggested the AirTags would feature a rechargeable battery that charges with an Apple Watch-style charging puck, so Apple could be testing multiple prototypes.

What other features can we expect from AirTags?

There are still a lot of details that aren't known about the AirTags, so we may need to wait for launch to learn more about them.

Japanese site Mac Otakara says, though, that Apple's AirTags will be "completely waterproof."

What will AirTags cost?

There's no word on what Apple's AirTags will cost at this point in time, but similar products from companies like Tile are priced in the range of $25 to $35 for a single Bluetooth tracker.

tile1

Tile Bluetooth tracking tags

Apple's AirTags could be priced similarly.

Apple accidentally confirms AirTags

Apple accidentally confirmed its work on AirTags in a support video uploaded in April. In the video, focused on ‌Find My‌ ‌iPhone‌, the demo ‌iPhone‌ used was running a non-release version of iOS that had Offline Finding text referencing AirTags.

airtags support video leak c
"Offline finding enables this device and AirTags to be found when not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular," read the setting on the ‌iPhone‌ used in the video.

AirTags Patents

An Apple patent for a "locatable tag" gives us a look at the accessories that Apple might use with the AirTags, and insight into how AirTags could potentially work. A general disc-like design is shown off in AirTags patents, and the wording suggests that AirTags could be splash proof and able to withstand drops.

AirTags design
Apple also describes a bracelet-like tag that could potentially be worn on the wrist, and there's also a description of AirTags used on emergency items like fire extinguishers to help people locate these devices quickly in an emergency.

AirTags Apple Watch
The patent suggests AirTags could be used as beacons to pop up information like maps on iPhones when entering a new location or for augmented reality apps and games.

There may be several AirTags usage modes, such as a lost mode that would allow an AirTag to interface with an ‌iPhone‌ that comes near it, and the patent describes a charging base that's able to charge the AirTags.

AirTag pouch
It's not clear if we'll actually see these patented features and options come to fruition, but there are some interesting examples of ways that Apple could perhaps be planning to use the AirTags.

When will AirTags be released?

There were signs of AirTags in an Apple internal build of iOS 13 and later versions of iOS 13, but AirTags aren't expected until later in 2021.

‌Ming-Chi Kuo‌, who often has accurate insight into Apple's plans, believes Apple plans to release AirTags at some point in 2021. Kuo previously said the AirTags would launch in the first half of 2020, but that did not end up happening. There is no specific launch date rumored for the AirTags as of yet, but they could come early in the year.

AirTags Rumor List

Guide Feedback

Have questions about AirTags or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Related Articles

samsung galaxy smarttag

Samsung's $30 SmartTags Beat AirTags to Launch

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:23 am PST by
Alongside new flagship smartphones, Samsung today announced the launch of its Galaxy SmartTags, item trackers that seem to be similar in design and functionality to Apple's long-rumored AirTags that have yet to launch. Design wise, the Galaxy SmartTags have a squircle shape with a small cutout at the top that's designed to accommodate a key ring or strap for attaching it to various items....
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
airtags keychain nomad

Accessory Makers Begin Preparing for AirTags Launch

Thursday January 7, 2021 11:12 am PST by
Amid rumors that Apple's long-rumored AirTag product is going to launch in 2021, accessory makers have begun preparing and planning for accessories to house the AirTags. Nomad, known for its range of Apple device cases, chargers, and more, has plans for an AirTags Keychain and an AirTags Glasses Holder, as highlighted by leaker Evan Blass. Apple does not generally provide accessory makers ...
tile item tracker

Tile Plans to Introduce Item Trackers With Ultra Wideband Support

Tuesday January 5, 2021 9:51 am PST by
Tile is poised to compete with Apple's long-rumored AirTags and is planning to introduce an upgraded series of item trackers that include an ultra wideband (UWB) chip for more precise tracking. Tile concept art for UWB tracker, via TechCrunch Apple's AirTags are rumored to include the U1 ultra wideband chip that has been added into the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models. Apple's U1 AirTags will...
airtags mockup 4 blue

Kuo: Apple to Unveil AirTags, Augmented Reality Device, and More in 2021

Monday January 4, 2021 8:13 am PST by
Apple plans to release its long-awaited AirTags item trackers, an unspecified augmented reality device, and other new products in 2021, according to a new research note from reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, obtained by MacRumors. AirTags are expected to help users keep track of their personal belongings, such as their keys, wallets, and backpacks, and would notify users on their Apple devices ...
airtags animation video jon prosser

AirTags Shown Off in 3D Animation That Could Appear During Pairing Process

Monday January 4, 2021 7:30 am PST by
2021 is expected to be the year that Apple finally releases its long-awaited AirTags item trackers, and ahead of time, YouTuber and leaker Jon Prosser has shared a 3D animation of the accessory that was allegedly created by Apple. Prosser says he obtained the animation from a software engineer, who believes that it may be presented to users in a future iOS version. Apple shows a similar 3D...
samsung smartthings tracker

Samsung Reportedly Developing 'Galaxy Smart Tag' Rival to Apple AirTags

Tuesday December 1, 2020 8:37 am PST by
Samsung is reportedly developing an item tracker called the "Galaxy Smart Tag" that appears to be positioned as a rival to Apple's long-awaited AirTags product (via SamMobile). In August, alongside the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, the South Korean company explained how its SmartThings Find feature can locate compatible Galaxy products with greater accuracy. It is now being...
alleged apple airtag keychain accessory

Photo Depicts Alleged AirTag Keychain

Monday November 9, 2020 4:31 pm PST by
Rumors have suggested Apple's upcoming AirTags Bluetooth item trackers will come with various accessories to allow them to be attached to items, and now an alleged AirTag keychain has surfaced on Twitter. Leaker Fudge (@choco_bit) shared what might be an AirTag carrying accessory in a Saddle Brown color. A patent for an 'AirTag' accessory As Fudge points out, the design of the ring is...
airtags mockup 4 blue text

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 10:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...
airtags mockup 4 blue text

Reliable Leaker Suggests AirTags 'Coming Soon' in Two Different Sizes

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:53 am PDT by
Apple's rumored AirTags Bluetooth tracking devices could launch imminently and will be available in two size options, based on new tweets from cryptic-but-reliable leaker L0vetodream. In typical enigmatic style, the leaker first tweeted this morning that a "big one" and a "small one" are "coming soon," but withheld what they were referring to. However that was followed an hour later with the ...
airpods studio render pivot yellow

Prosser: AirPods Studio to Start at $350 But Won't Feature at Next Week's Apple Event, AirTags Delayed Until March 2021

Friday October 9, 2020 5:38 am PDT by
Following this morning's deluge of Apple product leaks from Chinese Weibo account "Kang," Jon Prosser has claimed that Apple's rumored "AirPods Studio" premium headphones will not feature at Apple's iPhone 12 event next week. According to Prosser, three separate sources of his have now confirmed that "AirPods Studio will NOT be in the event." That prediction falls in line with Prosser's...
MR Future Products 2020 Jul Dark

Apple Event: Four Things Apple Could Announce Besides the iPhone 12

Tuesday October 6, 2020 11:55 pm PDT by
Earlier today, Apple announced a new event for October 13, 2020. The event has been widely anticipated as the launch of the iPhone 12. Apple typically launches iPhones in September every year, but this year's release has been slightly delayed. Still, rumors have been flying about the new devices as well as Apple's other plans so we have a good idea of what Apple could be announcing next week. ...
AirPods Studio Leak Feature

AirPods Studio Rumored to Come With U1 Chip, Ultra-Wideband Said to Be Vital to Future Apple Ecosystem

Sunday September 20, 2020 7:17 am PDT by
Proven leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared a range of information about the ultra-wideband U1 chip in Apple's upcoming AirTags item trackers and AirPods Studio headphones. The first of a series of tweets shared today simply stated that AirPods Studio will contain an ultra-wideband U1 chip. It seems likely that the U1 chip would be used in AirPods Studio to track the location of...
slack imgs

Prosser Renders 'Actual' AirTags Design, Will 'Likely' Be Announced Tomorrow

Monday September 14, 2020 9:07 am PDT by
Mixed-record leaker Jon Prosser has today revealed supposedly design-accurate renders of Apple's long-awaited AirTags, via a new video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech. Apple has been believed to be working on a Tile-like Bluetooth tracking device that is designed to be attached to items like keys and wallets for tracking purposes, letting users locate them directly in the Find My app. ...
tile1

Tile Launches New Premium Protect Plan That Offers $1000 in Lost Item Reimbursement

Wednesday September 9, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
As rumors about Apple's AirTags ramp up, AirTag competitor Tile is planning to launch a new "Premium Protect" service that will provide up to $1,000 to reimburse customers who subscribe for their lost items. Tile already has a premium plan that provides Smart Alerts when an item is left behind, free replacement batteries each year, and 30-day location history, but the $30 subscription...
iphone12dummylineup

Nikkei: iPhone 12 Mass Production Starting Later This Month, AirTags Production Already in Full Swing

Tuesday September 8, 2020 4:33 am PDT by
Apple will begin mass producing the iPhone 12 on a limited scale later this month and on into early October, according to a report today from Nikkei Asian Review. Of the four 5G devices Apple is expected to launch this year, production will reportedly begin with the more affordable 6.1-inch OLED model with dual-lens camera, which accounts for around 40% of Apple's production orders for its...
Tile Render

AirTags, iPhone 12, and Apple Watch Series 6 Announcements Rumored for Event Coming in Second Half of October [Updated]

Monday August 31, 2020 12:07 pm PDT by
Apple is planning to hold an event in the latter half of October that will see the unveiling of the iPhone 12 models, Apple Watch Series 6, and long-rumored AirTags, according to a report from Japanese site Mac Otakara. Citing rumors from "Chinese suppliers," Mac Otakara suggests that Apple initially planned to release the AirTags around the same time that the 2020 iPhone SE was launched,...
FindMyTileFeature

Apple's Limits on Third-Party 'Find My' Integration Under Scrutiny

Friday July 24, 2020 7:40 am PDT by
Apple last month introduced the new "Find My" Network Accessory Program, built to allow third-party products to work with Apple's own Find My app. While Apple's AirTags have yet to be formally announced, this program was seen as a way for Apple to level the playing field with competing Bluetooth location trackers, like Tile, and avoid accusations of Apple monopolizing the market. In a new...
airtags support video leak

AirTags Referenced in New Apple Support Video

Thursday April 2, 2020 1:12 pm PDT by
Apple has accidentally referenced its widely rumored AirTags item tracking tags in a video that it uploaded to its Apple Support channel on YouTube today. The video was first spotted by the blog Appleosophy and has quickly been removed. The video was titled "How to erase your iPhone." AirTags were mentioned in Settings > Apple ID > Find My > Find My iPhone under Enable Offline Finding, with...
tilepro

Tile Claims Apple's Anticompetitive Behavior Has 'Gotten Worse, Not Better'

Wednesday April 1, 2020 7:10 pm PDT by
Apple's anticompetitive behaviors have gotten worse over the course of the last few months rather than better, Tile claimed in a congressional panel today, reports Reuters. Executives from Tile, PopSockets, Sonos, and Basecamp in January testified in front of a congressional hearing in an ongoing antitrust inquiry launched by the U.S. government against tech companies like Amazon, Apple, and ...