iOS 14.3 beta offers 'AirTags' setup, operation information

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2020
Apple's first iOS 14.3 beta, which was briefly released Thursday, contains more evidence that the company is still developing "AirTags."

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


Code strings and other data that reference the Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband tracking accessory have been found in a slew of previous betas. The new evidence in iOS 14.3 just confirms that Apple is still working on the device for a possible near-future release.

According to 9to5Mac, which was able to download the beta, there are new videos and images meant to guide users through an initial "AirTags" setup process. There is also a new hidden section in the Find My app to accommodate both "AirTags" and third-party tracking devices like Tile.

Other code strings suggest that "AirTags" will be tied to a user's Apple ID, suggesting some sort of security mechanism preventing them from being used by another person if lost. Apple may also provide a way for users to scan a found "AirTag" to discover who it belongs to.

Steve Moser at MacRumors discovered a number of code strings that shed light on iOS 14's Find My network accessory initiative. Users can keep close tabs on object trackers like Tile with new iOS 14.3 notifications and Find My app alerts.

In addition to the new "AirTags" evidence, the first iOS 14.3 beta also includes the potential design for "AirPods Studio," new third-party app suggestions during initial setup, and the ProRAW format.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,012member
    ...
    Other code strings suggest that "AirTags" will be tied to a user's Apple ID, suggesting some sort of security mechanism preventing them from being used by another person if lost. Apple may also provide a way for users to scan a found "AirTag" to discover who it belongs to.

    Steve Moser at MacRumors discovered a number of code strings that shed light on iOS 14's Find My network accessory initiative. Users can keep close tabs on object trackers like Tile with new iOS 14.3 notifications and Find My app alerts.
    ...
    The disconcerting thing about AirTags is that others might be able to use them to track you or your personal equipment (vehicles, bikes, etc.) without you knowing.  Being able to detect and discover any nearby AirTag might mitigate this somewhat.  But the potential for surveillance misuse looms.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 841member
    What are the chances that these and the AirPods Studio get released via press release? I mean, do they REALLY need an event in order to be launched? AirPods Pro, iPhone SE, and iPad Pro were all released this way in just the last 12 months, and they are all arguably more major releases. 
    cornchipchadneywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 8
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,856member
    JWSC said:

    Being able to detect and discover any nearby AirTag might mitigate this somewhat. 


    How would that not mitigate surveillance completely?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 8
    Japhey said:
    What are the chances that these and the AirPods Studio get released via press release? I mean, do they REALLY need an event in order to be launched? AirPods Pro, iPhone SE, and iPad Pro were all released this way in just the last 12 months, and they are all arguably more major releases. 
    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve never seen so much interest over a non-interesting item. It’s an established market, it won’t be widely adopted, its gimmicky...it will fair just fine with a quiet press release. 
    napoleon_phoneapartJaphey
  • Reply 5 of 8
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,531member
    They could have excited us with these and new audio last event. Would have made it less underwhelming. 

    chadney said:
    Japhey said:
    What are the chances that these and the AirPods Studio get released via press release? I mean, do they REALLY need an event in order to be launched? AirPods Pro, iPhone SE, and iPad Pro were all released this way in just the last 12 months, and they are all arguably more major releases. 
    Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve never seen so much interest over a non-interesting item. It’s an established market, it won’t be widely adopted, its gimmicky...it will fair just fine with a quiet press release. 

    People said this about iPhone. Ridiculous. Apple doesn't ship junk.
    edited November 2020 iOSDevSWE
  • Reply 6 of 8
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,748member
    JWSC said:
    ...
    Other code strings suggest that "AirTags" will be tied to a user's Apple ID, suggesting some sort of security mechanism preventing them from being used by another person if lost. Apple may also provide a way for users to scan a found "AirTag" to discover who it belongs to.

    Steve Moser at MacRumors discovered a number of code strings that shed light on iOS 14's Find My network accessory initiative. Users can keep close tabs on object trackers like Tile with new iOS 14.3 notifications and Find My app alerts.
    ...
    The disconcerting thing about AirTags is that others might be able to use them to track you or your personal equipment (vehicles, bikes, etc.) without you knowing.  Being able to detect and discover any nearby AirTag might mitigate this somewhat.  But the potential for surveillance misuse looms.
    I've thought about this possibility from the beginning.
    Stalkers, abusive spouses, nosy coworkers etc. all could easily hide an air tag and then track your whereabouts.
    Although tracking technology has been available for decades, Apple's product would not require any technical background and would become ubiquitous within months.

    At least a way to find nearby AirTags could allow someone to "Sweep for bugs" if they were concerned.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 8
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,748member
    cornchip said:
    JWSC said:

    Being able to detect and discover any nearby AirTag might mitigate this somewhat. 


    How would that not mitigate surveillance completely?

    What if the person being tracked doesn't have an iPhone?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 8
    cornchip said:
    JWSC said:

    Being able to detect and discover any nearby AirTag might mitigate this somewhat. 


    How would that not mitigate surveillance completely?
    What if you don’t have an iPhone? I put my air tag on your car to see where you go.
    edited November 2020 watto_cobra
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