Solid Bluetooth Tracker With One Huge Flaw


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Illustration for article titled The Best Thing About Apple's AirTags Is Also the Scariest

Photo: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo

“Those seem useful, but I don’t really lose things,” I thought to myself when Apple finally took the wraps off its long-rumored Bluetooth trackers, AirTags.

Well, that’s not entirely true. But the items I tend to lose—most recently the headcover for my driver at a nearby golf course, and every single pair of sunglasses I’ve ever owned—aren’t exactly the kind of things you would attach an AirTag to. Then it dawned on me: More than a year in various levels of lockdown has turned me into something of a feral creature who wears leggings as pants (!!) and has abandoned carrying a purse in favor of shoving keys and ID in the pockets of said leggingpants. The descent has been steep, to say the least. So once we emerge vaccinated into society again, who knows where I’ll leave the things I’m now unaccustomed to carrying? My bag will inevitably get left inside a restaurant, and my suitcase? I hardly know her.

So, I was curious to test out AirTags and see whether they can smooth my transition into post-pandemic life.

The Setup

As with all things Apple, setting up an AirTag is almost magically easy. You unbox the circular white tracker, which can be customized with letters or emoji, and remove the wrapping. The AirTag will chime, signaling it’s ready to be paired. Hold it next to your iPhone, and within a split second, an image of the AirTag appears on-screen prompting you to connect. From there, you choose a name for your AirTag (the item you plan to attach it to), connect it to your Apple ID, and then right away you can hop into the Find My App, where there’s a new Items tab in iOS 14.5 for seeing your connected AirTags or third-party accessories like Chipolo trackers and Belkin earbuds.

And then you don’t need to open the Find My app again—until you lose something.

How They Work

An AirTag helps you find your stuff in four ways. If you think it’s close by,…