Airtags are small tracking devices designed to help you find misplaced or lost items. Apple launched them in 2001. They have been very popular ever since. But how does an Airtag actually work?

Apple's Airtags are small devices designed to find lost or misplaced items such as keys, wallets or bags. The tracking devices can also be useful when traveling or when keeping an eye on pets. To make this possible, they use a combination of several technologies.

How does an Airtag work?

Airtags use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This means that they emit a weak Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby Apple devices. For example, if the Airtag is attached to a lost key, the iPhone can detect the corresponding signal within a certain range.

In addition, the tracking devices in Apple’s “Where is?” network This is an encrypted, anonymous network with a hundred million Apple devices that helps locate objects. This means that Airtags can be located even without an iPhone.

Any other Apple device nearby can also receive the Bluetooth signal and send the location to iCloud. This process is usually anonymous and encrypted, so privacy is protected.

Newer iPhones also have a U1 chip, which UWB Technology This enables more precise location. In this way, the “precision search” can be used to determine the exact direction and distance to the corresponding Airtag.

Through the so-called Near Field Communication (NFC)other people who find an Airtag also have the opportunity to contact the searcher. If the device is in lost mode, NFC-enabled smartphones can read the chip. The prerequisite: The Airtag users must have stored the relevant contact details such as a telephone number.

Activate AirTags

Before you can use an Airtag, you must first activate it. To do this, you first add it to the Find My network. You hold the Airtag next to your iPhone or iPad. An action field will then appear on the respective screen. There you tap on “Connect„.

Then give your Airtag a name and click on “Further“. With another click on “Further“ you register it with your Apple-ID. Click on the button “Ready“ you complete the process.

You can now also find your Airtag via Bluetooth. If it is nearby, the Find My app will show you its location. The app can also tell you the exact distance and show you in which direction to go.

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