Apple AirTag review: Does perfectly what it's designed for, but limited compatibility spoils the fun (2024)

Apple unveiled AirTag during the company's Spring event in April this year and is a device that has been rumoured for a long time. As expected, the AirTag does what Apple claims it will do but is it worth buying? India Today Tech tries to answer that in the review.

With the AirTag launch, Apple has entered the smart tracker segment and tries to end your search for items that you can misplace quite easily. You can attach the AirTag to almost anything and everything ranging from your backpack to, cycle to your handbag and more. Some of the best examples of top possessions on nearly anyone's lost list are the keys and wallet.


It's an easy to use device and has been designed to keep privacy in mind, and I will talk more about that topic in a bit.

Now, AirTag is one of the devices that has been rumoured to be in the works for over two years, and this somewhat hints that Apple has taken its own sweet time to come out with the final product.

The AirTag has just one job, and it does that one thing pretty accurately. However, AirTag cannot be a casual buy, considering it requires some accessories to go with it, and of course, it requires an iPhone as well. Nevertheless, I liked plenty of things about the AirTag and then some that could have been improved because there's the Tile tracker, a rival and a brand that has been building its lost and found community for years. So, is the AirTag worth your money? I will try to answer that in my review.

Apple AirTag review: Cool design

The Apple AirTag comes with a design that looks inspired by a small coin with a slight thickness that may not easily slip into your wallet. However, it weighs just 11 grams, and that's incredible for something like this. It comes with a silver top with an Apple logo engraved alongside other details like Designed by Apple in California, AirTag, Bluetooth LE, Ultra-Wideband, and Assembled in China. Apple says that the silver covering is precision-etched polished stainless steel.

Apple AirTag review: Does perfectly what it's designed for, but limited compatibility spoils the fun (1)

The white coloured side has no engravings or markings, and it can be mistaken as a large coat button (no pun intended). The AirTag is easily removable and is actually super easy for anyone to replace the battery.

It is 1.26-inches in diameter and just 8mm in thickness, which is closer to the five-rupee coin we see in India. However, in overall size, I believe that the AirTag is slightly larger than the new Rs 20 coin.

When closely seen, the AirTag also reminds me of a rounded spaceship with an Ant-man (from the Marvel Universe) like size. However, AirTag does seem to have been inspired by Apple's "spaceship" campus, Apple Park, which is the corporate headquarters of Apple in Cupertino.


The AirTag ships with a CR2032 battery that is readily available and is a battery unit used by many devices, and users can replace it themselves.

The AirTag opens up in three pieces - the shiny silver side is the main tracker while one is the internal placement holder, and the third is the white cover. The Silver housing holds the U1 processor that offers precision tracking for iPhone 11 and above users, while it also packs a small speaker for emitting ping alerts.

Apple AirTag review: Does perfectly what it's designed for, but limited compatibility spoils the fun (2)

If there's anything that we wished Apple could have included, then it has to be a hole with the help of which I could have used AirTag with a lanyard. The hole in the AirTag could have made it so much more usable. Though, there are tons of accessories available now. If you want to stick to original accessories, then Apple has a bunch of them, including the AirTag Loop at Rs 2,990, and that's where the problem is. The original accessories of the AirTag are almost the same price as one AirTag, which is Rs 3,190. There are workarounds for this as Amazon now has multiple real-looking cheap knocks offs available on the site that can make the overall deal sweeter for anyone.


Apple being Apple has added IP67 water and dust resistance to the AirTag, making it more durable in the long run. However, one thing that we absolutely hated about the AirTag is the shiny Silver side gets easily scratched. I kept it in my pockets with some coins and a key, and I can see some scratches picked up in just one day. This means you have to remind yourself that the AirTag has just one purpose, and that's finding your lost items and not always looking new. I'm pretty much confident that's one compromise everyone can live with.

Apple AirTag review: Easy to set up

If there's one thing that other rivals like Tile and Samsung can learn from the AirTag, then it has to be the set up. This was one of the most straightforward set up processes I have seen for a smart tracker. Simply take the AirTag out of the box and pull the tag from the battery, which activates the device and then, put it next to the iPhone 6s or later running iOS 14.5. The good thing is that the AirTag also works with the iPod touch and iPad.

Apple AirTag review: Does perfectly what it's designed for, but limited compatibility spoils the fun (3)


Once you take the AirTag closer to the compatible iPhone, a pop-up should appear on the screen and then tap on "Connect" and follow the prompts. You can select an item name from the list of pre-filled names like a backpack, bike, camera, handbag, headphones, jacket, keys, luggage, umbrella, wallet, and more. You can also customise the name or choose an emoji instead. Once you're done with this step, the AirTag then gets tied up with your Apple ID and voila, you're good to go.

Once the pairing is done, you can look up the AirTag on the Find My app, which is another excellent experience. No UI complications or anything. On the Find My app, you can check the battery of your AirTag, play the chime sound or start finding the item attached to your AirTag. Apple has also added a feature that notifies you when you leave behind an item, a handy one. Users can also enable Lost Mode from the app, and it is just one tap step.

Apple AirTag review: Does perfectly what it's designed for, but limited compatibility spoils the fun (4)

Apple AirTag review: Excellent Precision Finding with a step-by-step guide

Talking about precision finding, Apple has undoubtedly taken the game one notch above compared to Tile trackers. It can help you find items attached to the AirTag with a proximity finding feature thanks to the ultra-wideband.

Technical jargon aside, this means if you have an iPhone 11 or later device, then you can use the Precision Finding feature, which utilises the ultra-wideband to calculate the distance and direct you towards the lost items with cool visual, haptic, and audio directions. In addition, the Find My app confirms that Apple is using TomTom open street map in India, considering the Apple Maps isn't the best option here.

I tried putting the AirTag in different places around the home, considering we live in the Covid-19 era and work from home is still a thing. The Find My app helped me locate the AirTag efficiently around my house. I haven't tried losing the AirTag deliberately, but in case you get into such a situation, then the Find My app shows the last pinged location until you put it in Lost Mode.

Apple AirTag review: Does perfectly what it's designed for, but limited compatibility spoils the fun (5)

Once the Lost Mode is enabled, Apple utilises its network of various devices to detect the lost AirTag and pings you the location via notification. I wish Apple could have realised that the loudspeaker is not too loud to be noticed in places where there is a lot of ambient noise. I found the Precision Tracking more useful than the chime sound from the AirTag to locate the tracker during the review.

Apple explains how its Find My network helps track lost AirTag. The company says that the AirTag sends out a Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby devices on the Find My network. Apple adds that the Bluetooth signal emitted by the AirTag is secure, so it cannot be used to track the person to whom the AirTag belongs. Once the emitted Bluetooth signal is received by any iPhone, iPad or Mac part of the Find My network, these devices send the location of AirTag to iCloud.

Once users receive the notification for AirTag found, they can go to the Find My app and see it on a map. The company stresses that the entire process is encrypted to protect user privacy. Apple also adds that the system is efficient, and users don't need to worry about battery life or data usage.

Apple AirTag review: Does perfectly what it's designed for, but limited compatibility spoils the fun (6)

While Apple may have stressed the term "items" during the AirTag launch, there are people who will use it to track their pets using the AirTag with a collar or put it in their children's pocket to keep track of their whereabouts. However, Apple isn't promoting that at all. In fact, AirTag isn't best suited for this task.

I tried out using AirTag in different situations, like leaving it in the car in a multi-floor basem*nt parking and letting Find My help me with the car's precise location. It was easier to find it with the help of visual directions available on the iPhone 12 Pro. The important thing to understand here is Apple's AirTag takes advantage of the company's ecosystem of devices to ping back directions to a lost item. It works flawlessly unless you lose an item in a place with no Apple devices around to help you with the Find My network.

Like I tried leaving the AirTag in a park and went ahead till about a kilometre. The Find My app pinged the AirTag location after some time, though it faced issues with pinning the exact location until I was about 30 feet away from the tracker. I was impressed. I would surely try out a situation where I lose my AirTag (deliberately) and see how the Find My network helps me if it is lost in a place where there are no iPhone users around.

Apple AirTag review: Does perfectly what it's designed for, but limited compatibility spoils the fun (7)

Apple AirTag review: What are a few things that could have been better?

Apple has been smart enough to add some features that do not encourage tracking someone unwillingly. What this means is if you have placed an AirTag in someone else's bag without telling them, then chances are you might get caught. For example, I simulated the situation where I placed an AirTag in my wife's handbag (only to test out the AirTag) while she was in the market, and the Find My app helped with the location of places where she went, but as soon as she was in the car, she heard a chime noise coming out of her handbag which was the AirTag emitting the sound to alert the person. Interesting!

Now, Android users can interact with an AirTag using an NFC enabled smartphone, while iPhone users will get an alert on their device right away if someone placed an AirTag around them to track their movement.

Another thing I wish Apple added was support for Android devices. This could have been a game-changer and something that even Android users would have loved to use. But, I get the keeping within the ecosystem theory. Apple has been someone who likes to keep new features or devices access limited to its ecosystem, and that's completely normal now.

Apple AirTag review: Does perfectly what it's designed for, but limited compatibility spoils the fun (8)

Apple AirTag review: Should you buy it?

Apple AirTag is available in India at Rs 3,190 for a single unit, while you can also get a pack of four at Rs 10,900. If you want to customise it further, then you can get an engraving through the company's online store that offers it for free. Apple allows users to add up to four characters, and you can even add emoji. Now, the most important question.

Is it worth buying? Yes. If you're someone who often ends up misplacing your items like wallet, keys, or even luggage, then purchasing an AirTag is an excellent solution to this problem. AirTag will make sure that your losing things experience is less painful. But, it needs additional accessories to attach to things like keys and a backpack, which means it will add more cost to your overall purchase.

The Apple AirTag is easy to set up and comes with a replaceable battery that can last up to a year, as per Apple. Furthermore, you don't need any additional app to go with the AirTag as it takes advantage of the Find My app and the network of Apple devices available globally. Furthermore, Apple guarantees users' privacy as it says that the entire lost and found process is encrypted, and even the company can't track you.

Who should avoid it? If you don't have an iPhone, do not even think about buying the AirTag because it is not compatible with Android devices. Yes, Android phones with NFC can read the AirTag, but the tracker cannot be paired to a non-iOS device. Apart from Android limitations, if you're someone who thinks that sharing AirTag is a great way to keep track of things in the family, get ready to be disappointed, as Apple doesn't support sharing your AirTag with family. However, I expect this can be added in the future much like how Apple Watch can now be set up using a family member's iPhone.

Published By:

Ketan Pratap

Published On:

Jul 14, 2021

--- ENDS ---

The article you provided dives deep into the Apple AirTag, covering its design, functionality, setup process, precision finding features, privacy aspects, limitations, and suitability for potential buyers. Here's a breakdown of the concepts covered:

  1. Apple AirTag Design and Specifications:

    • Physical description: 1.26-inches in diameter, 8mm thickness, resembling a small coin.
    • Components: Consists of a shiny silver side (housing the main tracker and processor), internal placement holder, and a white cover.
    • Battery: Uses a CR2032 battery, easily replaceable by users.
  2. Accessories and Durability:

    • Additional accessories available, but some are comparably priced to the AirTag itself.
    • IP67 water and dust resistance but susceptible to scratches on the shiny silver side.
  3. Setup Process:

    • Straightforward setup by pulling the tag to activate, compatible with iPhone 6s or later, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 14.5.
    • Customizable naming options and seamless integration with the Find My app.
  4. Precision Finding and Tracking:

    • Utilizes ultra-wideband technology for precision finding, offering visual, haptic, and audio directions.
    • Works well within the Apple ecosystem but struggles in areas with no Apple devices to assist.
  5. Privacy Measures:

    • Bluetooth signals are secure and cannot be used to track individuals.
    • Encrypted process for locating lost items to protect user privacy.
  6. Use Cases and Limitations:

    • Designed primarily for tracking personal belongings; not promoted for tracking pets or individuals.
    • NFC functionality for Android users limited to alerting if an AirTag is being used to track them.
  7. Purchasing Recommendations:

    • Recommended for individuals prone to misplacing items like keys or wallets.
    • Not suitable for Android users; limited sharing capabilities within the Apple ecosystem.

The author's comprehensive review offers insights into various aspects of the AirTag's functionality, highlighting its strengths, limitations, and target audience. It provides an in-depth understanding of the device's capabilities and its alignment with users' needs, especially within the Apple ecosystem.

Apple AirTag review: Does perfectly what it's designed for, but limited compatibility spoils the fun (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Edwin Metz

Last Updated:

Views: 5861

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Edwin Metz

Birthday: 1997-04-16

Address: 51593 Leanne Light, Kuphalmouth, DE 50012-5183

Phone: +639107620957

Job: Corporate Banking Technician

Hobby: Reading, scrapbook, role-playing games, Fishing, Fishing, Scuba diving, Beekeeping

Introduction: My name is Edwin Metz, I am a fair, energetic, helpful, brave, outstanding, nice, helpful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.