Apple’s AirTags are not new in the market. Also, they are nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary. Yet, the new product is subject to past bland products that kept falling short. It works well, but it puts to shame Apples’ attempts to enhance security and privacy for its products.
In dense urban environments, AirTags work too well around Apple devices. Below is what we found after conducting different tests using different scenarios.
For Android users, there isn’t much to enjoy. We shall look more into their woes later in the review.
One thing, AirTags are excellent products with ease of use and quality design. They also come at an affordable cost. If you are looking for similar products should give them a go. Yet, someone who isn’t should also take note of this product.
An AirTag has a simple look. They stand out as two discs, one small silver disc inside another white disc. It has a small weight of 11 grams and measures 1.26 inches in diameter (31.99 mm). It has a thickness of 8mm or 0.31 inches.
The product has a refined feel putting to shame similar products from Samsung and Tile. The weight and materials used are luxurious to touch, and they make the product stand out by how this product feels at the first touch. By the first touch, one can experience a high-class and sophisticated device.
The shiny part of the Airbag is prone to easy scratching. While that does not affect its performance, the scratches are unsightly. If you like to toss random stuff in a bag with your AirTag, it will get scratches after days or weeks.
As for cost, you can spend a whopping $99 for four AirTags. A single one goes for $29. You can use either text or an emoji to personalize your device. Apple offers many emojis, and it is the best way to mark your devices. While they do not cost extra, adding the personalizing items can delay your device’s shipping time.
Other trackers come with holes or loops where people can attach them to their other belongings. That is not the case for AirTags as they do not have space. Fortunately, you can buy either a loop holder or a key ring.
Such expenses drive up the cost and are vital when making your final call on buying a product. While you can use it without a casing, you will have to spend at least $13 to get a cheap Belkin holder. Apple provides more options starting at $29.
Another discovery we made is the durable string battery that comes with the device. Apple uses a CR2032, which can last for over a year. After that, the user can replace it as it is available. Since we were tight on time, we could not attest to the claims. Yet, their product predictions have always been right, especially about the battery.
The product idea works with Apple products. Users who do not have an iPhone or iPad cannot use the tracker on their Android device.
A few supported devices can use the AirTag. They can work along with Apple’s find my App or Siri. The service can help you locate your phone in the house or if you forgot it at a coffee shop not so long ago.
As many would suspect, GPS is the most common way to locate something. Yet, Apple uses this device to communicate with other Apple devices by sending pings. In an area with many Macs, iPods and iPhones, the easier it is to send the pings and find the location of your device.
Like other Apple devices, using the gadget in low-density population areas can be problematic. The unavailability of Macs and iPads makes it hard to send pings to other nearby devices. It renders the AirTag inefficient.
The AirTag has a massive advantage over other products because users do not need to deal with the App Store. Most city centers are largely populated with Apple gadgets. With the tag, there is more than enough network to locate your device.
While our tests did not focus on Apple’s performance against Tile, other people did. The findings show that AirTags are easier to find than Tile. With more than enough check-in points, finding an AirTag is quick and spot on.
You start the process with Find My Network. Once you are at a close range, you can use the Find My App to make the gadget make some noise for easier tracing. The recent models of iPhone like iPhone 11 onwards have a way to use a wide search tool that helps locate the device in the room.
If unable to locate the item right away, you can mark it as lost. The AirTag will be visible to other users. You can set your number for other users in the area to contact you once their devices connect. Also, when found by a network, it will alert you of its new location.
I conducted several searches for my AirTag. The first scenario was leaving it in a park area in Chicago. I figured it would work fine with many people at the park. The second scenario was burying it on the sofa at home. After testing, I could find my gadget right after searching it.
There was no issues or problems location. Notably, it took time to nail its location at the park.
Setting up is easy. Just like Airpods, you move the gadget near your iPhone and follow the screen prompts to set it up.
After testing, it was clear that the device works perfectly. It is reliable and easy to use. While it stands out above the rest, most users want to know how secure the gadget is for personal use.
The manufacturer, Apple affirms that the process is thoroughly safe. The information is end-to-end encrypted to protect the data stored in the devices. Also, the information does not frequently circulate within the device connections.
The information shows there is little to worry about if someone uses their device to find their AirTag and vice versa. Another concern is if another person decides to use their AirTag to trace and stalk you.
Apple knew that that would be an issue. In their response, they have put in some measures to combat the problem. They are still far off from their competitors in this field.
Since Apple anticipates that people can use its devices to stalk you, it has measures to protect you. One line of defense is to alert you that a foreign device is with you. The feature works in a particular way, like if Apple notices that a foreign AirTag is with you for a longer than usual time. Also, it will alert you if you have a strange AirTag at a location you identify as home or your Mac records as home.
While the above may sound reassuring, it does not work as quickly as it should. The slow response still leaves a window for exploitation. We feel more can be done about this problem.
Another concern is that the feature works with IOS 14.5 and more recent versions. That leaves anyone with an older model or even an Android phone more susceptible to the threat. Most people update their iPhones promptly.
That could lead to the thought that Apple only makes products that serve their clientele while leaving Android users to their own devices. While we do not support the notion, it is more about building a simple system that could work for their devices.
The other line of defense is to alert you or make some noise. It only happens when separated from its owner for some time. That is if the device and the owner do not have a contact for three days. It is a long enough window to track you and do whatever they wish. Apple needs to revise the timeline to be sooner to avoid problems.
Technicians say that the feature is a setting in their service, and they can use it to make the time sooner.
When Apple visualized the design of an AirTag, they had a lot in mind. The idea was grand, according to the leaks circulating at the time. However, the launch of the real AirTags in the market was quite disappointing. Apple wanted to bring Augmented reality to create a groundbreaking product. Hopefully, in the future, they can.
AirTags are not so bad as they work well enough. You can locate your AirTag if you lose them outside or in your house.
The framework for AirTags and their usability makes them effective. There are no user-experience complaints. They perform better than any other similar products in the market. As long as you are around people and places with Apple products, they can help locate your AirTag. Yet, it may not do anything to help if you are in the wilderness hiking or if you lose it in a place where people do not use Apple tech.
A security concern is how people can use AirTags can aid the harassment of Android users who cannot locate the devices.
If you have Apple products and live somewhere using the devices is no issue for most people, AirTags are an excellent product. Old trackers could take a long time to locate your device. Also, their accuracy was limited. With the new product, finding something is quick and accurate.
Since Apple knows the flaws in these features, they may address these issues in their next releases. The future marketing strategy focuses on safety, health, and privacy. They are likely to make changes to most of their products.
AirTags works so well, but they can work even better.
- Ease of setting up
- Replaceable battery
- High-quality design
- Fast and precise
- Find My App has excellent features
- May need more accessories that may drive up the cost
- They are easily scratched up
- The product feels underwhelming than the original idea
- Exposes Android and some Apple users to stalking and tracking