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I am convinced the only reason Apple managed to generate so much hype over its AirTags is because people were starting to think it wasn’t a real product. But I currently have them in my possession and I can confirm that yes, they are real.
For those living under a rock, AirTags are Apple’s new US$29 Bluetooth trackers that you can attach to accessories like your keys, bike, luggage, wallet, pet, etc. It connects to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch and comes with features like Precision Finding (which visually guides you to your lost item) and Lost Mode (which allows other iPhone users to help find your AirTag when it’s out of Bluetooth range).
Are you bored yet? Well, that makes sense because AirTags aren’t that exciting. Bluetooth trackers have been around for years, and yet, Apple felt its own version was worthy of more than just a press release. The company dedicated four whole minutes to it during the ‘Spring Loaded’ event — complete with a high budget promo video.
Anyway, if you’re wondering whether you should hit the pre-order button on April 23, allow me to walk you through my roller coaster of emotions during my short 24 hours with Apple’s AirTags.
1. I don’t really need these (yet)
Don’t get me wrong, I am the type to look for my AirPods when they’re already in my ears. And, I also lose have a tendency to lose my keys the minute I walk into my apartment. I couldn’t wait for AirTags to come out.
But when I unboxed them, I struggled to figure out what to assign all of the five AirTags Apple sent to me. I received one single pack which costs US$29 and a 4-pack for US$99. Apple also sent me a few accessories including the leather key ring (US$35), the leather loop (US$39), and the standard AirTag loop (made of polyurethane for US$29) — which you can attach to bags or luggage. I immediately put one on my set of keys and then looked around my room wondering what to grab next.
The AirTags will likely come more in handy when I start traveling again, though — especially for work events where I pack expensive things like my camera, laptop, external batteries, headphones, and more. It’d certainly ease the anxiety that comes with losing luggage at the airport.
But until then, I’ve already gotten too used hanging my keys on the cute little hook I have by my window in my room. And, since I started doing that, I actually haven’t misplaced my keys once.
So, my advice to you: If you really need these, I’d start with the single pack first and then build your way up.
2. We weren’t excited about Bluetooth trackers before — why are we excited now?
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. And yes, the AirTags do work super well — I didn’t have any issues with connectivity or while using any of the features. But at its core, it’s still nothing more than a Bluetooth tracker.
I give props to Samsung for being more self-aware with its Galaxy Smart Tags. Not only did the company quietly launch its Bluetooth trackers alongside the Galaxy S21 lineup, but it also threw a tracker in for free with pre-orders of its new smartphone. Perhaps Apple should’ve done the same with the purple iPhone.
3. Precision Finding is cool, though
One of the most frustrating feelings is when you lose your AirPods, trigger the sound from the Find My app, hear the sound, but still can’t find your AirPods.
The Precision Finding feature on the AirTags, certainly solves that pain point.
The feature 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 tracker using graphics, haptic, and sound. However, it’s worth noting that the feature is only compatible with the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 12.
Here’s a video of what it looks like:
Even though I knew where I hid my keys for testing purposes, I can only imagine that it’ll make the experience a lot less stressful for when I actually lose them. There’s something weirdly reassuring about those arrows pointing you in the right direction, rather than anxiously running around and making a mess (like I normally do when I lose something).
In addition to the Precision Finding feature, there’s also Lost Mode. It sends out an alert to your AirTag when it’s out of range so that other iPhone owners nearby can detect it and notify you.
When they do find it, they can tap on the AirTag using NFC and it’ll prompt them to a site with your phone number and a message that reads “This item has been lost. Please call me.” It’s not turned on by default — you have to manually enable it through the Find My app.
4. It’s going to make my smartphone addiction worse
I’m already glued to my phone thanks to apps like iMessage, Telegram, TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, Messenger, YouTube. And I already know I’m going to form some weird habit of constantly checking Find My app to make sure my belongings are in place.
I know, this is a me problem — but I am definitely not the only one who is addicted to their smartphone. We all are. I’m just OK with admitting I have a problem. And, I also know the AirTags will worsen that problem.
5. It comes with a scary privacy concern
Here’s the thing: people have raised concerns that people could use AirTags to track others. It’s as easy as slipping one of these lightweight discs into someone’s pocket or bag.
As Mashable’s very own Jack Morse points out:
“That the tiny tracking fobs might be used, whether by stalkers or abusive partners, to keep tabs on unwitting victims is a real concern.”
It does come with privacy features built in — like audible alerts from unknown tags and unwanted tag detection. Those who do find unknown AirTags can tap on it with their iPhone, or an Android with NFC built in, to access instructions that will walk them through how to disable it.
iPhone users with unwanted AirTags in their possession, will also receive a notification that says “AirTag Found Moving With You,” along with steps on how to disable it. The notification is visible on your phone until you manually dismiss it. You can also tap to play the sound, if you’re having difficulty finding the AirTag.
But if you have an Android phone, it’ll take three days for the AirTag to start making a noise. And, I don’t know about you, but three days sounds like a long time to me.
Even though Apple does have privacy measures in place, it’s still scary to think that someone might use it in a way that’s harmful to others.
6. There’s a special place in hell for people who drop money on the Hermès accessories
Am I jealous that anyone has enough disposable income to even think about buying one of the Hermès AirTag key rings, luggage tags, or bag charms? Yes. Extremely.
But if you really feel compelled to drop money like this, just email me for my Venmo account instead.
UPDATE: April 22, 2021, 2:25 p.m. EDT We’ve updated this article with additional information regarding unwanted AirTags and how to disable them.
ที่มา : Mashable