The embargo has lifted on reviews of Apple's new AirTag item tracker, although they are more like first impressions given that media outlets and YouTube channels had less than 48 hours of hands-on time with the small new device.

airtag and iphone 12

Image Credit: The Verge

AirTag will be available to order starting this Friday, April 23 at 5 a.m. Pacific Time in most countries, and it will begin arriving to customers on Friday, April 30. Priced at $29 each or $99 for a four pack, users can attach AirTags to personal belongings like a wallet, keys, purse, or backpack and then keep track of the location of those items in Apple's built-in Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

We've already rounded up some AirTag unboxing videos, and below we've gathered some more in-depth opinions from AirTag reviews.

The Verge's Dieter Bohn said the AirTag as "smart" and "capable" for users who already live in Apple's ecosystem:

Really, the AirTag is the Most Apple Product I've seen in a while. It's just a little more expensive than the competition. It's beautifully designed, but its hardware still somehow fails to actually take the practical realities of our dirty, messy world into account. It's very privacy-focused. It really only works with Apple devices. It offers features that no third-party device can really match thanks to Apple's tight integration (or tight grip on its APIs, depending on your point of view). And since there's no Android version of Find My, it's another piece of the Apple ecosystem that's going to keep you from switching.

An AirTag is a very Apple-y thing for Apple users who already live in Apple's ecosystem. They work great — and will be great at keeping you in Apple's world.

In the video below, Bohn provides a closer look at the AirTag setup process and then goes on a hide-and-seek adventure in New York City to test out its capabilities:


TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino said it often took 30 seconds or more to get an initial location from an AirTag in another room, but he said location tracking was extremely accurate down to a few inches:

In my very limited testing so far, AirTag location range fits in with that basic Bluetooth expectation. Which means that it can be foiled by a lot of obstructions or walls or an unflattering signal bounce. It often took 30 seconds or more to get an initial location from an AirTag in another room, for instance. Once the location was received, however, the instructions to locate the device seemed to update quickly and were extremely accurate down to a few inches.

Mashable's Brenda Stolyar was less excited about the AirTag, but she did praise their Precision Finding feature that uses the built-in U1 chip and accelerometer from the AirTag, along with ARKit and the gyroscope from the iPhone, to guide you towards the AirTag with an on-screen arrow, haptic feedback, and sound.

Bluetooth trackers aren't new. Companies like Tile, Chipolo, and Orbit have been pumping them out for years — but leave it to Apple to turn them into a must-have accessory.

Sure, for iPhone users it means seamless connectivity that works with Apple's Find My app. But at its core, it's still nothing more than a Bluetooth tracker.

Precision Finding is limited to Apple devices with the U1 chip for Ultra Wideband, including all iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models.

Related Forum: AirTags

Top Rated Comments

NightFox Avatar
14 months ago

Been using Tiles forever. Used them on my older iphones and on my new Pixel. This does nothing a Tile can't do. The Tile Slim fits in my wallet and has saved my ass several times. Tiles can ring my Android phone as well.

Not sure what the Apple differentiator is here other than "me too."
The differentiator is the mesh network for items you lose out there in the big wide world. Suddenly every iOS device is looking for your item rather than just everyone who has the Tile app running. I'd guess that increases the chances of locating your item at least a thousand-fold.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
14 months ago

I’m curious how it works if someone steals an item with an AirTag attached, then gets an alert that an AirTag not belonging to them is traveling with them...
This is what kills it for me.

My PRIMARY use case for an AirTag was going to be burying one deep in my backpack, so if it got stolen I'd be able to track where it is. If it's going to tell the thief it's there, what's the point?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ignatius345 Avatar
14 months ago

This is what kills it for me.

My PRIMARY use case for an AirTag was going to be burying one deep in my backpack, so if it got stolen I'd be able to track where it is. If it's going to tell the thief it's there, what's the point?
I think at that point you're talking about a stealth tracker, and it's impossible from Apple's end to separate a legit use (like your stolen backpack scenario) from a stalkery use (planting it in someone else's backpack).

Anyway, the reality of something like a bag being stolen is that the thief is going to quickly pluck out anything valuable and discard the rest so they don't get caught with it.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dugbug Avatar
14 months ago
"And since there's no Android version of Find My, it's another piece of the Apple ecosystem that's going to keep you from switching."

oh my god just review the damn product.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple2GS Avatar
14 months ago

I’m curious how it works if someone steals an item with an AirTag attached, then gets an alert that an AirTag not belonging to them is traveling with them...
Perps have Androids.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
14 months ago

I’m curious how it works if someone steals an item with an AirTag attached, then gets an alert that an AirTag not belonging to them is traveling with them...
I’m guessing it works like this:
1. Bad guy finds and discards AirTag
2. AirTag owner finds garbage can
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

2022 golf r blue

All-New Golf GTI and Golf R Headline VW's 2022 Lineup With Wireless CarPlay on Many Trims

Tuesday December 14, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
Volkswagen has been working on rolling out support for wireless CarPlay across its lineup, and the carmaker recently invited me out to Asheville, North Carolina, for a look at the redesigned Mk8 Golf GTI and Golf R hatchbacks, as well as the refreshed Jetta and the rest of the 2022 lineup. 2022 Golf R Given that I've previously looked at VW's MIB3 infotainment platforms with wireless CarPlay...
green iphone 13 iphone 13 pro engadget

iPhone 13 in Green and iPhone 13 Pro in Alpine Green Reviews: A 'Saturated' but 'Subtle Statement'

Friday March 11, 2022 6:23 am PST by
The first reviews of Apple's newly-introduced Green and Alpine Green color options for the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro have now been shared by various media outlets and YouTubers, and the general consensus is that the new shades are very saturated compared to similar colors from other smartphone makers, but still make for a subtle color option overall. Image via Engadget The new green color...
mac studio size reference

Mac Studio Reviews: Faster Than a $13,000 Mac Pro

Thursday March 17, 2022 6:12 am PDT by
Apple's all-new Mac Studio desktop computer launches this Friday. Ahead of time, the first reviews and unboxing videos for the Mac Studio have surfaced, providing us with a closer look at the machine and its companion Studio Display. Performance While the Mac Studio resembles a larger Mac mini, it is far more powerful. The computer can be configured with the same M1 Max chip available for...
apple studio display the verge

Apple Studio Display Reviews: 'A Confounding Miss'

Thursday March 17, 2022 6:37 am PDT by
First impressions of the Apple Studio Display have now been shared by select media outlets and YouTubers, providing a closer look at Apple's latest standalone display. Reviewers praised some aspects such as the display's built-in speaker and microphone setup, while others felt that "the Studio Display in its current state is a confounding miss." Image via The Verge Priced starting at $1,599,...
momentmagsafe

Review: Moment Offers Useful MagSafe Accessories for Photographers

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:55 am PST by
Moment is best known for its line of lenses designed for iPhones, but the company also makes all kinds of other accessories that are designed to improve the iPhone experience. With the launch of MagSafe, Moment designed MagSafe friendly cases and accessories that are useful for those who want to use Moment lenses or photography equipment like tripods with their iPhones. Moment's...
finis smart goggle

Review: FINIS Smart Goggle Tracks Your Swim Workouts and Integrates With Apple Health

Thursday December 30, 2021 10:16 am PST by
I've been a swimmer for as long as I can remember, so I jumped at a recent opportunity to try out the FINIS Smart Goggle, a pair of swim goggles with a small display inside and sensors to help track your swims and keep on top of your metrics even while your head is underwater. The FINIS Smart Goggle kit, developed in partnership with Ciye, is priced at $235 (on sale for $188 as of this...
belkin airtag holder feature

Review: Belkin's Key Ring and Strap Are Affordable AirTag Accessory Options

Tuesday May 11, 2021 10:48 am PDT by
Apple designed the AirTags without any kind of hole or attachment point to connect them to keys, bags, and other items, which has opened up a whole new market for AirTag accessories. Apple's own AirTag add-ons are priced starting at $29, which is the same price as a standalone AirTag, so it's quite an investment to use one of those. Luckily there are plenty of third-party AirTag accessories...
nomad base one

Review: Nomad Launches 'Base One' Official MagSafe Charger for $130

Tuesday March 1, 2022 9:02 am PST by
Nomad today announced the launch of the Base One, its first official MagSafe wireless charger. For a long time, Belkin has had the only official MagSafe charging options, but that's starting to change now that third-party accessory companies are able to get Apple's Made for iPhone-certified hardware. The Base One is using MagSafe components sourced directly from Apple, so it is able to...

Popular Stories

RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
14 16 inch 2021 mbps back to back feature orange

Five Things You Still Can't Do With a MacBook Pro

Wednesday May 11, 2022 11:16 am PDT by
It's been over 200 days since Apple debuted its redesigned MacBook Pro lineup. Offered in 14-inch and 16-inch display sizes, the new-look MacBooks wowed Apple fans and creative pros alike with their powerful custom Apple silicon, mini-LED screen, and multiple connectivity options. But there are still some things you can't do with a MacBook Pro. Here are five features some Mac users are still...
apple mac ipad watch trade in

Apple Launches Limited-Time Bonus Trade-In Credit for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch in Many Countries

Wednesday May 11, 2022 5:14 am PDT by
Apple has launched a special limited-time offer for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad trade-in that offers customers additional credit when trading in their only device for a new one. The offer is being run in several countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, and France. In the UK, Apple is offering up to £50 of extra trade-in credit...
airpodsprodesign

Kuo: AirPods, MagSafe Battery Pack, and Other Apple Accessories Also to Switch to USB-C in Future

Sunday May 15, 2022 5:59 am PDT by
Earlier this week, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple plans to release at least one iPhone 15 model with a USB-C port in 2023. Now, in a follow-up tweet, he has claimed that accessories like AirPods, the MagSafe Battery Pack, and the Magic Keyboard/Mouse/Trackpad trio would also switch to USB-C in the "foreseeable future." Both the iPhone and all of the aforementioned...