A little more than three weeks have passed since I began to use an accessory from Apple – AirTag, new for myself and for the whole world. When it first came out, we wrote about it, then shared our first impressions. Now it’s time to talk about the real experience of use. How convenient is the label itself, did you have to use it to find things, how it works (and does it work at all) … And what is more important, how its glossy surface begins to look after a few weeks of use and whether expensive original accessories are comfortable. In the beginning it always happens that there are too many questions, and there are almost no answers to them, but now they have appeared.
Buying one lighthouse was not very correct, and therefore I bought a set of 4 of them to hang from everywhere. Probably, I was additionally bribed by the fact that for Apple such generosity is unheard of… I can’t immediately recall her gadgets, which are cheaper when buying several pieces. This can only be observed with services and then only in the case of an Apple One subscription.
What is AirTag
It makes no sense to talk in detail about the tracker itself, since many words have already been said about it. In short, this is a small mark that is put in a pocket, hung on keys or other things and broadcasts its location… It itself has neither a transmitter nor a long-distance communication module. There are only short range modules that allow her to establish contact with any iPhone, if it is not quite ancient.
As a result, if the tag is lost, it can send its location to the Apple server through the iPhone of a person passing by, where you can view it. Here it is necessary to warn that you should not run to save your thing if it was stolen, as you can run into much more serious trouble. But if you just dropped it, it will be quite easy to find the mark and what it is attached to.
Is it possible to find a lost thing
If we take large cities – and not only Moscow and St. Petersburg – the share of the iPhone is about 10% of the total number of phones. That is, every tenth person can potentially save your lost things, even without knowing it. Now imagine if you find yourself in places where at least 10 people do not pass in a day? Even leaving for a suburban forest, it will be so difficult to retire there. I’m not talking about the keys that were lost in the taiga, but the probability of getting the location of your AirTag within a couple of days under normal conditions is, according to my estimates, at least 95%.
I hung one mark on the keys, put one in my backpack, hung one more on my bike, and named the last – the fourth mark ”Spy tag”And what I have not tried to do with her.
Is it possible to follow someone through AirTag
The first thing I did was give it to my wife before going to work and explained in detail what to do and how to behave if she suddenly started warning her about the surveillance. In the end, there was no warning. She enjoys Android smartphone, and therefore I could not control the position in real time. But, since she works in the center of Moscow, and gets to work by public transport, at almost any moment in time I could understand where the mark is. Any but one moment – when she was on the subway.
While she was in the subway, the location of the mark was determined somewhere at the terminal station of her line. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence that it was a station on this particular line, but that was exactly the situation. At this moment I put the tag into lost mode, and as soon as she left the metro, I received a notification of the find with the exact address.
It turns out that if you lose something on the subway, it will be a little more difficult to find it using AirTag than impossible… But searching for things on the subway is generally a pointless undertaking, since everything that lies on the floor is either thrown away or taken to the lost property office (or whatever it is called there).
For two days, the tag did not say that surveillance was underway. But now Apple has released an update that should earlier warn that something is wrong and the tag is going somewhere, but without an owner.
Why does AirTag not impersonate itself in case of surveillance?
It is quite logical to take some pause so that the label does not give itself out. Imagine that you dropped your wallet under a bench in the park and no one sees it. You have time to find it. But the shorter the time from loss to signaling, the less chances you have to pick up the lost item – she herself will tell everything that the wallet is under the shop.
She will do this by making a sound. It does not have a speaker, but it has a housing, which is a resonator. High and quite loud the sound comes from the back wall… It is often difficult to determine its source. But you, for example, can easily understand whether there are keys in the same room with you or in the next one. Outdoors this will help too, but in an open area, identifying the source is an even bigger problem.
Does the U1 chip work if you buy AirTag in another country
The U1 chip could help, but it is not certified in Russia. Most likely, this is only for now, since there was information according to which Apple received permission to test it. One thing is clear for sure – it’s not worth buying AirTag in another country in order to enjoy the seven charms of this chip in Russia. The tags sold in our country and in other countries are absolutely the same – the operation of the chip is blocked on a geographic basis. But if (or when) certification is obtained, everything should just work, since U1 is already installed in every AirTag and in every iPhone 11 and newer.
Using a tag in a backpack looks like a dubious idea, since it is difficult to accidentally lose it, and if it is stolen, then there will be nothing to save. On the other hand, if you forget it on the top bunk of the bus, you can find its location, even if employees transfer it somewhere for storage.
Another use case is hang the AirTag on the bike… Top modern models are even made with a special compartment for this. But here you need to understand that saving the bike in case of theft will only work if it was stolen by an amateur. When a professional is working, he will not only mute the signal, but will find the AirTag. And in order to neutralize it, you must either just throw it out and drive on, or pull out the battery.
This is done easily (you need to twist the upper and lower parts of the tag in different directions), and the battery itself is typical. This is a big plus in terms of convenience, but a big minus in terms of how easily a tag can be damaged. Nevertheless, I still hung it on the bike, although so far I did it very clumsy – just with the help of the original loop cover. But already ordered this, this and this accessory on AliExpress to make the installation more inconspicuous.
Last label hanging on my keys… Everything is cool here and several times she even helped me find them at home. This is especially true when you go with different bags and backpacks, and the keys are constantly migrating from one to another.
Disadvantages of AirTag
There is only one claim. It is more of a personal preference, but it still bothered me a lot. The original keychain, which is more expensive than the tag itself, is beautiful and of high quality. Only it is uncomfortable in shape. He constantly sticks out to the side. This does not make it possible to squeeze the keys into a fist, put them in a pocket normally, or easily turn them over on a ring. It would be great if the keychain was on a chain and dangled freely on the keys. Then the design would be more compact.
Does AirTag scratch
Now about how the labels look after some time of use. If I worry about the appearance of the watch, tablet and phone, although I still don’t use covers, then I don’t care what the label looks like. But the fact is that it scratches. Even the tag, which was just lying in a separate pocket of the backpack, was still a little rubbed. I’m not talking about the one with the keys.
AirTag for dog or car
Many, including myself, reasoned that the tag can also be hung on a dog or on a car as an anti-theft system. In the first case, even Apple says that it is better not to do this. And logically, this is correct. The dog is constantly running and wherever they find it, in a few seconds it will no longer be there. You will receive information with a delay of a couple of minutes, and during this time it will run far away. On the other hand, sooner or later she will get tired and then the chances of finding her will grow. Therefore, it is possible to use AirTag to find a dog, but in practice it will not be so easy. Much easier to buy a collar with GPS. Moreover, there are quite a few of them.
For a car, this is completely useless and you should not expect that a miracle will happen and the hijacker will broadcast the location from his iPhone. Most likely, he will use the jammer until the car is disassembled. But theoretically, you can find a car. I don’t know how the tag will work through the layers of metal, but I put it in the sun visor and received data on its location.
Buy AirTag or not
Should I buy AirTag or not? Definitely yes! If you have an iPhone, then 3,000 rubles for one tag or 10,000 rubles for four pieces is unlikely to be a big problem for you. You can eventually buy them with your friends. For example, two for each. As a result, you will pay 5,000 for them, not 6,000 rubles.
But you will always have an increased chance of finding lost items. It’s not worth running at a thief with a stick, but if you just dropped your keys or wallet, then the chances of finding them will be higher.
However, taking into account all the features, I came to the conclusion that the very idea of the label was developed taking into account the fact that there will be honest people around you… People who, if a tag is found, will attach a phone to it and call the number that you indicate. I see no reason to hang the AirTag on the outside of the bag. So you will immediately show that it is there, that you can throw it out and take the bag away.
But personally, I have a belief that the find can be returned. I myself was returned my iPhone, which I dropped from my shorts pocket in a taxi, and it was done by a simple person who was driving after me. These are the tags that are designed for. Well, or just us, who are constantly losing something.
Source: AppleInsider.ru — крупнейший сайт о iPhone, iPad, Mac в России by appleinsider.ru.
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