Apple’s AirTags might be able to help you find your missing stuff when it launches. If that sounds familiar, it should – there are plenty of accessories that already offer this functionality, with one of the most popular being Tile. But while Tile is hugely popular, Apple has the potential to offer huge improvements to the community-based tracking these trackers rely on.
Whatever the AirTags offer, rumours suggest we’ll be seeing them in the flesh for the first time very soon. Here’s all you need to know about Apple’s AirTags, from release date and pricing rumours to the latest leaked features.
When will Apple AirTags be released?
Following just over a year of leaks and rumours, Apple is expected to lift the lid on the AirTags at its iPhone 12 launch event on 13 October. Of course, Apple hasn’t confirmed this explicitly, but looking closely at the invite, the central circle looks near-identical to the AirTags renders doing the rounds online.
It also aligns with a prediction from the ever-accurate Ming-Chi Kuo, who claimed back in February that Apple planned to put ultra-wideband chips into production between April and September 2020.
So, with that said, we expect the AirTags to be announced on 13 October and go on sale soon after.
How much will AirTags cost?
There’s currently no word on how much the AirTags will cost when they’re eventually released, but we can look at the competition – after all, if Apple wants to be competitive in a market full of trackers from the likes of Tile, it’ll have to match up in price. Tile’s most recent Tile Pro costs £29.99 in the UK and $34.99 in the US, so we could be looking at a similar price for the AirTags.
That being said, Apple does have a reputation for developing existing technology and improving it, and it’s entirely possible that the technology inside, and the integration with iOS, could elevate the value of Apple’s tracker above that of the competition. It can’t be too expensive though – after all, these things are designed to be lost.
AirTags features and spec rumours
Apple has yet to confirm the existence of AirTags officially, but Apple’s upcoming tracker has been the subject of plenty of leaks – including some from Apple itself.
The exact functionality is still pretty vague at this point, but most rumours suggest that AirTags are a Tile-like device that you attach to valuable items like your keys, and you’re then able to track them via an app if you misplace them.
Apple has the long-established Find My functionality built into pretty much every product it makes, and AirTags allow Apple to expand that to valuable non-Apple items that you might lose track of.
With that being said, it should come as no surprise that keen coders have found code snippets and references to AirTags within the iOS 14 Find My app code, and have even provided a basic idea of how it’ll work: per the code suggestion, you’ll get an alert on your iPhone when you walk too far away from an AirTag and it’ll begin bleeping too – unless you’re at home, where you’ll have to manually toggle the audible alert.
Other rumours suggest you’ll be able to utilise AR to help you find your items. Simply walk around with your iPhone and when you’re near your item, a balloon icon will appear on-screen to indicate exactly where your item is – that’s how it’ll work when you’re in range, anyway.
But what happens if you’ve left your keys on the bus? You’ll be out of range pretty fast, after all. That’s where rumours suggest Apple will utilise other iPhones to find your AirTag. It’s said to work in a similar way to Tile’s current offering, using nearby smartphones to pinpoint the location of your item.
Tile’s offering is limited because it requires users to have the app installed and running in the background, but the assumption is that any iPhone could potentially relay AirTag location data to the owner. It’s not confirmed of course, but it’d be a huge benefit over just about every other tracker on the market right now.
According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, the AirTags will also work by utilising ultra-wideband tech – also known as UWB – to provide impressively precise location monitoring. The leaker also showcased renders of the upcoming AirTags apparently based on videos of the real tracker that he’d seen.
Apple AirTags (codename: B389)
– White front (no logo) CLEAN!- Polished metal back- Apple logo on back
3D render made by the AMAZING @CConceptCreator.
Sources shared with me a video of the real AirTags — to protect them, we made a 3D render to show you. pic.twitter.com/aKGOATXMMO
— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser)
September 14, 2020
As seen in the mock-ups, the AirTags are essentially a white disk with a central metal plate on one side, and it’s apparently not much bigger than a bottlecap, although that is hard to verify at this point.
With only days until the rumoured announcement, it’s likely that we’ll find out more about Apple AirTags very soon.