You’ll never lose something in the couch again. Apple’s AirTag ($29) uses tight iOS integration and the world’s vast network of iOS devices to generate Bluetooth trackers that are unusually simple to put up, operate, and locate—especially when compared to Tile, the current industry leader.
If you have an iPhone or an iPad, the AirTag is a sleek and enjoyable method to trace your missing devices, earning it our Editors’ Choice award for iOS tracking devices.
You may purchase one AirTag for $29 or four for $99. You’ll also need to purchase holders for them: The AirTag, unlike the Tile and SmartTag, does not have a lanyard hole.
Apple charges $35 for a leather key ring in blue, brown, or red; $39 for a leather loop holder in brown or red; and $29 for a silicone loop holder in blue, orange, white, or yellow.
Because this is Apple, there is already a massive third-party ecosystem. Belkin sells simple versions of the keychain and loop holder for $12.95, and Amazon sells dozens of no-name keychains and loop holders for as little as $2.99.
The tags themselves are little metal discs with two sides, one shining silver and one white. Apple provides free printing of a monogram or emoji on each tag, allowing you to distinguish them and identify them for certain purposes.
When placed in your pants pocket, an AirTag is inconspicuous. It’s a tad thicker than the Tile Mate or Tile Pro, and much thicker than the Tile Slim, at 1.26 inches in diameter and 0.31 inches thick. It is, however, much slimmer and smaller than the Samsung SmartTag.
The difference between the AirTag and the Tile Slim is most noticeable when trying to track your wallet since the AirTag will cause it to bulge more than the Tile Slim.
The small little tags, on the other hand, readily disappear into a backpack, coat pocket, or luggage, and they look excellent in one of Apple’s keychain holders.
According to Apple, the AirTag’s replaceable CR2032 battery will last around a year.
AirTags, the small location-tracking discs, may be abetting a new form of stalking, posing a “uniquely harmful” threat given the ubiquity of Apple’s products. Privacy groups warned against this concern when Apple introduced the devices in April. https://t.co/5wx0nvsJyO
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 1, 2022
The tags are strong enough, but I wouldn’t drive over them. They’re IP67-rated and water resistant for up to 30 minutes, so you can drop them in a pool, but if your wallet drops to the bottom of a creek, you’ll need to act quickly.
AirTags are more attractive than the competitors, in true Apple flair. They’re bright and silky, with a wonderful sense of personalization. The keychain and strap accessories appear to be fashion accessories rather than technological equipment.
Even after shaking one in a plastic bag with keys for about 30 seconds, the shiny surfaces of my AirTags didn’t get scratched. Your mileage may vary; I know some other reviewers complained about their tags getting scratched up, so they may have sharper keys.