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Apple AirTags: Will We Finally See Apple’s Tile Competitors In October?


When will we see Apple AirTags?


This story is part of Apple event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

At a virtual event On Tuesday, Apple kept it short and to the point, unveiling a new suite of Apple Watches and iPads as well as a Wednesday date for iOS 14, iPadOS 14, WatchOS 7 and TVOS 14. However, Apple did not debut its long-rumored competitor for smart tracker tags known as AirTags. The tags were indicated in the code for iOS 13 last summer, but rumors were circulating before this software hit.

When Apple debuted again Ultrawideband or UWB technology in his iPhone 11 Models last year, speculation that Apple might release a competitor intensified The popular trackers from Tile.

The rumored AirTags may be similar to iBeacon, an implementation of Bluetooth low-power wireless technology that Apple first introduced in iOS 7 in 2014. The beacons were small, inexpensive Bluetooth transmitters that aimed to provide location-based information and services to iPhones. For example, if a retailer has a beacon in their store and you have the retailer’s app, you might get a special offer notification as you walk through the store.

The rumored new tracker tags might work a little differently, however. It is likely that, as with Tiles Tags, you can stick the AirTags on your keys, bag, or children’s toy Put them in your wallet or passport. They can also be clipped to a device, remote control, outdoor gear, or other small electronics so you can keep an eye on many different items.

While nothing has been officially confirmed so far, Apple has dropped a number of breadcrumbs to indicate the product is possible. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Here are all of the rumors we’ve heard so far about Apple’s potential tracker tag technology.

Not so much a rumor: they’ll be called AirTags

The name AirTags appeared in one Apple Support Video discovered by Appleosophy, which emerged in April, showing users how to erase their iPhone and factory reset it. In the video that is now listed as private on YouTube, the demonstrator navigates to the Find My iPhone page in the phone’s settings. You will also see an option to enable offline search for “this device and AirTags”.

The name AirTags was previously used by 9to5Mac in the iOS 13.2 Released last October. In the file system, a folder for Apple’s latest version of its mobile operating system was marked with “AirTag”. It supposedly pairs with your iPhone like the AirPods, and you can track items using the Find My app.

Rumor: battery

Apple’s rumored competitor for tile trackers could have a replaceable CR2032 button cell battery like the Tile Pro, according to a March report by MacRumors. CR2032s are not rechargeable and must be replaced. MacRumors suggested removing or replacing the battery by unscrewing the back of the tile tracker.

A previous rumor suggested that the tile tracker has an Apple Watch-style magnetic loading mechanism. This could mean that we could see two different models of tile trackers.

Rumor: Waterproof

In February, the Japanese blog Macotakara reported to anonymous sources that the tracker devices will be announced in the fall of 2020. The blog said the tags will be completely waterproof.

Rumor: setup process

MacRumors reported that screenshots that surfaced last October show an updated version of the Find My app. One of the screenshots published by MacRumors features an Apple logo. “Set up a new tag” is displayed below the logo on the screen. Other screenshots show instructions on how to drag your tag’s tab and bring it close to the iPhone to start the adding process. The screenshots refer to the tags with their code name B389.

Rumor: Tag design

After Apples Keynote presentation of the WWDC in June 2019, “Day 1.1” was discovered in the original iOS 13 code from developer Steve Moser, and it began to whisper that the company was developing its own alternative to the tile trackers. Further examination of the original internal structure revealed that the tracker would likely be small and circular, with the Apple logo in the center.

Rumor: What the day can haunt

If the tracker tags mirror tiles, it may be possible to clip them onto different items. The iOS 13 code suggested that the tags were battery operated and could be attached to items like keys, a wallet, or a backpack. They can then be used to find them if the item is lost. The tracker tags can reportedly be paired with your iCloud account by being close to an iPhone or other Apple device.

You would reportedly receive notifications when the device is too far from the day so you don’t lose things. If the highlighted item is in a location that you have specified as a safe place, the app will not notify you. When you tap a button in the Phone app, the tags can ring. If you put an item in “lost mode”, other iPhone users may be able to contact you when they find the lost item.

The tags and app may also have an augmented reality feature that can help you find lost items. A red floating AR balloon may appear over the area when users look through the screen in the app for a more precise location. This is evident from the internal build of iOS 13 as reported by MacRumors.


Thomas Northcut / Getty Images

Rumor: The U1 chip in the new cell phones is preparing other Apple products for the tags

When Apple launched its new line of phones on the iPhone 11 A new chip was added to the phones at the event in September 2019. The U1 chip uses Ultrawideband technology, which enables greater precision in locating other Apple U1-equipped devices by offering “GPS at your living room scale,” reported MacRumors. This isn’t a confirmation of the tracker tags, but it does seem like Apple is laying the groundwork for its new devices.

Since older iPhones don’t have the U1 chip, it’s likely that Apple will provide both Bluetooth and UWB technology to their trackers to make them work with non-iPhone 11 models. However, the newer models will likely locate the tracked devices much more accurately. While Bluetooth can track objects up to a distance of about 5 meters, UWB can track objects up to a distance of 5 to 10 centimeters.

Look at that:

No iPhone 12, now what? Apple’s preview of the September event


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