One of the new products launched by Apple in 2021 was the Apple AirTag. This device retails at around USD 29.00 and estimates from third-party analysts suggest that the company sold over 25 million units at the end of the first quarter of 2022. But what exactly is an AirTag and what are the benefits of purchasing and using one?
Pros of AirTag: Reasons Why You Should Buy
For starters, the Apple AirTag is a tracking device designed as a key finder or electronic finder. It is attached to keys or other personal objects such as bags, electronic devices, and even vehicles to help people find them through wireless communication technologies.
The device uses Bluetooth technology and ultra-wideband technology to communicate with compatible Apple devices such as iPhones or iPads running iOS and iPadOS 14.5 or later. It also takes advantage of the crowdsourced Find My asset tracking network of Apple which has over 1 billion devices to expand its trackability and usability.
Of course, the defining advantage of this device is that it provides users with a solution to secure their personal objects or items using wireless communication technologies. This can help find misplaced items or stolen objects.
Below are the specific advantages and benefits of buying and owning this device:
• Relatively Inexpensive But Accurate and Reliable: One of the advantages of an AirTag is that it is relatively inexpensive, especially for individuals accustomed to the price tags of Apple products. Furthermore, using relevant wireless communication technologies, it can accurately track and locate an object regardless of range and complete with directional cues.
• Complements the Apple Product Ecosystem: Owners and users of Apple devices would find owning an AirTag both useful and intuitive because it anonymously communicates to other compatible Apple devices and connects to the already-familiar Find My network. Furthermore, managing several tags can be done using the Apple ID of an existing Apple user.
• Bluetooth and UWB Wireless Technologies: Another key advantage or reason to buy this device is that it uses both Bluetooth and UWB wireless technologies to make it as accurate and as reliable as possible. The device uses Bluetooth to anonymously connect to compatible Apple devices around the vicinity and be part of a wireless mesh network while also using UWB for more precise tracking.
• Compact Design and Overall Built Quality: The device is less than an inch in diameter. It can be readily attached to keychains and electronic objects, as well as vehicles. The battery is replaceable and it can last for appropriately 1 year. Furthermore, apart from its compact and lightweight build, it is also waterproof.
Cons of AirTag: Reasons Why You Should Not Buy
The Apple AirTag might be a useful device for individuals, especially for users of Apple devices, but it has notable drawbacks and limitations. It is also important to note that there are also other similar products in the market from other manufacturers.
Below are the specific disadvantages and drawbacks of buying and owning this device:
• Does Not Work With Older iOS Versions: One of the major drawbacks of AirTag is that it would not work with iPhones or iPads running iOS or iPadOS below version 14.5. However, it is important to note that Apple provides operating system updates and support to devices as old as the iPhone 8. However, devices such as the iPhone 6 or the iPad Mini 3 have not received the most latest OS version.
• Limitations When Used With An Android Device: The device now works with Android devices starting January 2022. Apple has developed and published an app for Android called the Tracker Detect. However, when compared to how the Apple experience and the specific functionalities of the Find My network, this device would not work nearly as well when used with an Apple device.
• Availability of Other Compact Object Trackers: Note that the price tag can be considered another disadvantage of the AirTag. It is still relatively expensive when compared to smart tags from less popular manufacturers. Some smart tags retail at around USD 10.00 or less and most of them have cross-platform compatibility. Of course, Apple overcomes this drawback through the inclusiveness of its product ecosystem.
• Concerns Over Stalking and Criminal Use: Apple has included an anti-stalking feature but it remains limited. Several users have reported that it is still possible to overcome this feature. There are modified AirTags sold in the market with their speakers removed. Some reports also noted that criminals use these devices to stalk possible targets and victims of car theft and home robbery.