Thursday, June 20, 2024

AirTags range: here’s how far the tracker can reach

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An AirTag attached on a keyringDigital Trends

Apple AirTags are a helpful tool for tracking valuable possessions like wallets, keys, luggage, and backpacks. These tags employ various technologies that allow you to track your items from short and long distances using your compatible Apple device, such as an iPhone 15 Plus. You might wonder how far you can track your items with AirTags. It’s time to find out.

Contents

  • AirTags range, explained
  • Bluetooth vs. Ultra Wideband vs. Find My
  • Apple, not Android

AirTags range, explained

Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

The range of AirTags varies depending on the method you use to locate them. A Bluetooth connection will work when your AirTags are close to your supported Apple device. Otherwise, Apple’s Find My network is utilized. Luckily, you don’t have to choose the method because it’s selected behind the scenes automatically.

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If you’re within about 30 feet of your AirTag and have an iPhone 11 or newer, you can precisely locate your AirTag (down to its direction) using Ultra Wideband technology.

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Bluetooth vs. Ultra Wideband vs. Find My

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

When connected directly through Bluetooth, the typical range for an AirTag is about 30 feet, or 10 meters. However, with the help of Apple’s Find My network, your AirTag can be located using an anonymous relay made through other Apple devices. The range through this network is essentially unlimited as long as another Apple device is within Bluetooth range of the AirTag and connected to the internet. With this network, you can locate your AirTag even if you are far away from it. You can see its location on a map in the Find My app.

Ultra Wideband is a feature on iPhone 11 models and newer, except for the iPhone SE (2nd and 3rd generation), that enables Precision Finding. With this feature, the Find My app can accurately identify the exact location of your lost item. However, it is important to note that Ultra Wideband isn’t available in all countries or regions and is subject to international regulatory requirements.

Besides Ultra Wideband, Precision Finding utilizes an iPhone’s camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope to guide users to an AirTag’s location through haptics, visual feedback, and sounds.

Apple, not Android

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

As a reminder, AirTags only work with Apple devices. However, Google has introduced its own version of Apple’s Find My network, which works with Android-based devices. The first of these products will arrive from Chipolo, which already has products that support Apple’s Find My network, such as the Chipolo One Spot.  There’s also a growing list of other AirTags alternatives.

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