Tracking everything with Apple AirTag.
Suppose you’re walking on the streets of a foreign land and suddenly realize that your sling bag, which has crucial documents like a passport, visa, etc., is missing. Like everyone else, you would also freak out and complain to local authorities.
But the situation would have been slightly different if you had used an AirTag.
What is Apple AirTag?
It is a small-sized tracker that uses Bluetooth and Ultra-wideband (subject to devise and region availability) to let you find it.
Even though it’s only a tiny tracker, a lot goes behind it, which we will discuss in this guide. Besides, we’ll also talk about the best Android and iOS AirTags alternatives you can consider. Let’s move ahead and learn more about Apple AirTags in detail.
How Does the Apple AirTag Work?
Before talking about the working of an Apple AirTag, let’s first understand what this device is.
Apple AirTag is a 1.26-inch lightweight tracking device with a stainless-steel back that lets you easily track all your stuff on your iOS device in the Find My app. This small, tiny device includes a replaceable CR2032 lithium 3V coin battery that lasts up to a year. It can also last more than expected if you use functions like precision finding less.
Besides this, an AirTag also integrates a Bluetooth transmitter, a tiny speaker that makes noises when pinged, so it can easily be located. It also includes the Apple U1 chip, which lets precision finding work correctly. AirTags are compatible with iPhones, iPads, and iPods running on iOS/iPadOS 14.5 or above.
Many people wonder if AirTags are compatible with Android. The answer to this is No. If you buy an AirTag, you’ll need a compatible Apple device to set it up. But once you’re done with this, you can use both an Android and iPhone to track them. Android users need to get the Tracker Detect app. At the same time, iOS users can follow them in the Find My app.
You can use AirTags to track personal items, such as keys, luggage, backpacks, a pet, a wallet, etc. Some people also use them to track their cars and children. Besides this, AirTags comes with an IP67 rating, which makes it splash, water, and dust resistant. They can survive in water for up to 30 minutes without any issues. If it stops working within one year of purchase, you can also get it repaired or replaced by Apple.
Let’s now talk about AirTags’ working.
AirTag uses different connectivity technologies to let you track itself: Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology.
It uses Bluetooth to connect to a nearby Apple device in Apple’s Find My network. Once it’s connected to an iOS device in the network, the device sends the location of AirTag to your iCloud. You can then see its location in the Find My app on your iOS device. AirTags only work like this if they’re outside the Ultra Wideband, or your personal Bluetooth range.
If they’re nearby, they can easily be found by playing a chime sound in the Find My app. You can also use the precision finding functionality to get accurate directions to your AirTag in Find My app. It uses UWB to work effectively. It keeps guiding you until you reach there, turn by turn, and get the AirTag. Besides, AirTags also works with Siri.
How To Setup an Apple AirTag?
Setting up a new Apple AirTag on your compatible Apple device is as easy as setting up a new Apple AirPod.
1. Before starting, ensure you’ve your compatible Apple device. Also, ensure that its 2FA, Find My, WiFi or Cellular, and Bluetooth are enabled.
2. Once assured, remove the wrap your AirTag is covered with and pull out the tab to turn on the battery.
3. Next, your AirTag will play a welcome sound, and a prompt will appear on your device.
4. Tap the Continue button and choose the accessory/item from the list you want to track.
5. Once done, tap the Continue button and again Continue to connect it with your Apple ID.
6. Wait for a few seconds to set it up. Finally, tap Done to finish set up.
How To Track An Apple AirTag?
Once you’ve set up your AirTag, you can easily track it in the Find My app on your Apple device. You can check the below-mentioned prompts to know how to track it using it:
Note: The instructions mentioned in this section also apply to all Apple AirTag-compatible devices.
1. Open the Find My app on your Apple device and tap the Items option at the bottom of it.
2. Search for your Apple AirTag on the map in the app, and tap on it to see its last known location and time.
3. If the AirTag is near you but you can’t find it, tap the Play Sound option on the screen and follow the chime sound to navigate to your Apple AirTag. If your Apple device also comes with Ultra Wideband tech, please tap the Find option for its precise location.
Note: Your Apple AirTag must be in Bluetooth range to use these two tracking functions.
4. If you want to put your AirTag in Lost Mode, swipe up, click Enable under Lost Mode, and follow the on-screen steps to enable it on Apple AirTag quickly. Doing so will notify you once its precise location becomes available. If someone finds your AirTag, they can use their iPhone’s NFC scanning to get the information, like your phone number, to reach you.
Best AirTag Alternatives for Android and iPhone
Though, Apple AirTags come with all necessary and advanced features. But its pricing and compatibility may stop you from purchasing one. Therefore, in this section, we’ve mentioned some of the best AirTag alternatives for Android and iPhone with their features. So read ahead and find the best AirTag alternative for your Android or iPhone.
1. Tile Mate
The first Apple AirTag alternative is Tile Mate.
It’s a square-shaped Bluetooth tracker, which comes in Black color only. This tracker works with both Android & iOS. You only need to install the Tile app from the native app store on your phone to set it up and use it. Also, it’s IP67 rated, which means it’s water-resistant. Besides this, it includes a non-replaceable battery, which lasts up to 3 years.
- Compatible With Both Android & iOS
- Works With Amazon Alexa, Hey Google & Siri
- Splash, Water, & Dust Resistant
- Notifies You When You Leave Your Item Behind
- Can Ring Your Phone If Lost
The most highlighting part about this Apple AirTag alternative is its range of up to 250 feet. In the Tile app, you can find your Tile on the map and even find it by playing the sound. Similar to Apple AirTag, it also shows the last known location of your Tile tag if it isn’t the Bluetooth range, which is 76 m. Last but not least, it also comes with a year of warranty.
2. SmartTrack Link
SmartTrack Link is another excellent AirTag alternative with a similar tiny build. The pairing process of it and AirTag is also identical. Like Apple AirTag, you can also find the SmartTrack Link in the Items section of Find My.
- Compatible With iPhones
- Water-Resistant Coating
- You can Find Your Phone in Silent Mode
- Easy To Set Up & Use
- Up to 250 feet Tracking Range
Like other Apple AirTags alternatives, it also uses a CR2032 battery, which lasts up to a year. However, the product doesn’t include a battery. You’ve to buy it separately and put it into the tracker.
3. Samsung Galaxy SmartTag
The next AirTag alternative for Android and iPhone is SmartTag, which works with Samsung phones only.
It’s a great Bluetooth tracker that lets you track all your items, like keys, bags, family pets, backpacks, etc., on your phone.
- IP53 Rating for Water Resistance
- Can Control Smart Home Devices
- Bluetooth Range of Up to 120m
- Supports Ultra-Wideband Connectivity With the Bluetooth Connectivity
- Works With Bixby
SmartTags have a Bluetooth (BLE) range of up to 120 meters, which varies with the obstacles in the environment. You can easily track all your SmartTags in the SmartThings app. One thing that’s worth mentioning is that it lets you control your IoT devices with a click.
4. Nutale Key Finder Mini
Another Apple AirTag alternative worth checking out is Nutale Key Finder Mini, which also works on Bluetooth and lets you keep track of your critical things. One of the most important attribute of Nutale Key Finder Mini is that it works with both Android and iOS.
You need to download the Findthing app on your smartphone and set it up. Nutale Key Finder Mini also uses CR2 batteries within the package. According to the manufacturers, these batteries last for seven months. They also say they provide technical support if the users face any issues with the Nutale Key Finder Mini.
- Bluetooth Range Is Around 32–65 feet
- It comes With an Extra Battery
- Works With Both Android & iOS
- Life-Time Technical Support
- Record the Last Location if it Goes Out of Range
5. Chipolo One
The last AirTag alternative on our best AirTag alternatives for Android and iPhone list is Chipolo One, which carries a simple yet attractive design and comes in 6 different colour options.
Chipolo One uses Bluetooth technology to make tracking possible. Also, it works with both iPhones and Android. You only need to download the Chipolo app and set it up. Besides, it comes with a 2-year coin battery and supports connection up to 200 feet
- Compatible With Both Android & iPhones
- Connection Up to 200 Feet or 60m
- Water Resistant (IPX5 Rating)
- Works With Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Siri
- Shows the Last Known Location on a Map
- Can Be Used as a Remote Selfie Button To Take Pictures
Not only this, but you can also add its widget to your device’s home screen for easy tracking.
It’s surprising to see how a tiny AirTag holds so much in it. It’s equipped with Bluetooth, Ultra Wideband, and NFC, which makes it an excellent tracker.
However, you have many alternatives in case you didn’t fall in love with AirTags.
So, this was it in this explainer, and we hope to see you again.