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Using the Apple AirTag for Travel

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Using Apple AirTag for Travel

The Apple AirTag is a small electronic device which allows you to track where it is. It occurred to me that this would be perfect for luggage, so I bought a set of four with optional holders.

The key features of the AirTag are that if it is paired with your recent iPhone (11 or above) it can give you precision directions to the item using FindMy app, beep on command, or put into Lost mode to allow other iPhones to send you anon updates, or even assign a phone number to it to help locate. The Bluetooth device (5.0) is estimated to have a range of 800 feet.

The device is powered, and requires a CR2032 battery which should be good for about a year. Only works with Apple.

Apple AirTag Website

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Ping

You can ping the device to see where it is, and it makes a sound in its built-in speaker. Perfect for keys, wallet, etc.

Apple AirTag Website

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Ulta Wideband Technology

Precision finding allows you to really hone in to where the AppleTag (and what it is attached to) is located.

This works with:

iPhone 11

iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple AirTag Website

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Uses the Network

The network of most Apple (iPhone, Mac, iPad, and other Mac) devices becomes your search grid. Very clever.

Apple AirTag Website

Apple AirTag on my main backpack

Apple AirTag on my main backpack

Apple AirTag How it Works

Using Bluetooth, the AirTag sends out a signal to nearby devices in the Find My network.

The location of the AirTag is then sent to iCloud using the Apple devices, which allows you to see it on the Find My map.

All this happens in the background, and claimed to by anonymous, encrypted, and efficient.

Apple AirTag Website

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Lost Mode

Put into Lost Mode allows you to get notifications when it's detected by the Apple network of devices.

When it is detected, you get a notification. Under settings, you can also allow the finder to tap the AirTag with a NFC capable smartphone to get your contact info.

NFC, or Near Field Communication, is a short range (around 10 cm) wireless RFID communication technology. It is typically used for payment use (ApplePay and SamsungPay are examples).

What is NFC

NFC Defined

SamSung NFC

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Skip the Holders

The AppleTag holders are basically useless for attaching the device securely to luggage, just put into a pocket. The only reason to put on the outside of the luggage is to get better range and reception. But the downside is that somebody will know it's there.

A word about privacy. Location and history are never stored on the AirTag. Relay location and identity data is not stored on the network devices either.

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Unwanted Tracking

The AirTag location is available only to you. Location and history data are not stored on the AirTag itself.

If a AirTag is traveling with you, it will notify you, and give you options to find where it is and disable.

Alerts are only triggered when an AirTag is separated from its owner.

Apple Support on Unwanted Tracking Details

Apple AirTag on my Daypack

Apple AirTag on my Daypack

AirTag Setup

One tap will setup your AirTag with your Bluetooth enabled iPhone or iPad.

Simply enter a name for your AirTag (in my case backpack and checked luggage) and then attach it to the item you want to track.

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AirTag Battery Life

Your Apple device let you know when it's time to replace the CR2032.

Expect at least a year of use.

How To Replace AirTag Battery

Apply AirTag on the inside of my checked luggage

Apply AirTag on the inside of my checked luggage

AirTag Details

Size and Weight

Diameter: 1.26 inches (31.9 mm)

Height: 0.31 inch (8.0 mm)

Weight: 0.39 ounce (11 grams)

Splash, Water, and Dust Resistance

Rated IP67 (maximum depth of 1 meter up to 30 minutes) under IEC standard 60529

Connectivity

Bluetooth for proximity finding

Apple-designed U1 chip for Ultra Wideband and Precision Finding

NFC tap for Lost Mode

Speaker

Built-in speaker

Battery

User-replaceable CR2032 coin cell battery

Sensor

Accelerometer

Accessibility

The Find My app is compatible with these iPhone accessibility features:

VoiceOver

Invert Colors

Larger Text

Compatibility with braille displays

System Requirements and Compatibility

Apple ID

iPhone and iPod touch models with iOS 14.5 or later

iPad models with iPadOS 14.5 or later

Environmental Requirements

Operating ambient temperature: −4F to 140F (−20C to 60C)

In the Box

AirTag with CR2032 coin cell battery installed

Apple AirTag Website

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