Apple's AirTag helps you keep track of your things for $29 each, $99 in a four-pack

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  • Reply 81 of 84
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 794member
    WTH said:
    I'm surprised there hasn't been outrage that people's iPhones are using their own data plans to transmit location data of other people's Tags. I think the reason there is no outrage is that people still haven't figured out what's actually happening.
    Why would there be outrage?  That location data is already being sent out to locate iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, AirPods, and every other Apple gadget.  The "Find My" location system has been in operation for a long time.  The only difference is that Apple will be adding a new type of device to it.

    You can opt out of the "Find My" system, but most people keep it turned on because it's so useful.  I doubt the data required to enable it is more than a drop in the bucket compared to the typical video and audio streaming that most people do with their portable devices.

    What you don't understand is that iPhones, iPads, and Macs already have internet connections and therefore they do NOT request nearby bluetooth iOS devices to report their location. That's the difference. (I'm ignoring AirPods because they don't have U1 chips and I'm quite sure that they do NOT use the Find My network; they report directly and solely to your iOS devices.) AirTags are NOT connected to the Find My network so they must ALWAYS request to nearby iOS devices that their location be sent to the Find My network.

    Also, it's worth noting that those devices you mentioned will NOT be able to send their location if they are fully powered off or if their bluetooth is disabled or if they are in AirPlane mode. These restrictions do not apply to AirTags. This is another reason why AirTags will be heavy data generators.

    It gets even worse. Think about this: let's say you have an iPhone which has a working internet connection. Then you walk into a room with lots of people, like a theatre. Some of these people will be carrying AirTags, or will be carrying other Apple devices that do not have a current connection to the Internet but do have bluetooth enabled. Your iPhone has to report every single one of these devices' locations to the Apple Find My Network. That could be 10, 20 or even 100 data items. And this traffic will be charged to my ISP. So does everyone else's iPhone in that theatre with a data connection. How does Apple throttle all this traffic to prevent duplication? It hasn't said.

    If you don't believe me, go fix the websites on the internet that explain this, such as: https://tidbits.com/2019/06/21/how-apples-new-find-my-service-locates-missing-hardware-thats-offline/

    Total FUD - the people in the theatre will most likely have their iPhones with them and the AirTags will not be "lost" - no reporting location.
    edited April 2021
  • Reply 82 of 84
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 794member

    eightzero said:
    Interesting the precision tracking feature requires iPhone 11 or newer. Guess that's an understandable technology limitation. My wife will be disappointed her new iPhone SE won't work for that. 

    I'll be getting a 4 pack; two of which are going on each of my dog's collars. Not sure yet - anyone say anything about the Find My app having geotagging? Can I be alerted if airbags stray from a given location?

    Edit: and the lack of a required subscription for this is a very welcome feature.
    Why does it say at the bottom on the Air Tag page on Apple.com that it requires iPhone SE, iPhone 6S or later or the 7th Generation iPod Touch then? 
    Because these are the models that can run iOS 14.x, which is required for AirTags Find My... functionality. 
  • Reply 83 of 84
    WTHWTH Posts: 25member

    So if I leave my keys with a valet, my wallet in the gym locker, my bag in the house when I go to work, the AirTag with that item is going to start sending alerts and start beeping? My gym locker is going to beep while I work out? The valet stand is going to be beeping? My wife is going to listen to my 4 AirTags beeping up a storm because I went on a business trip and didn't take the item with me? All of those AirTags are going to be "separated from its owner." I cannot imagine an item that is literally with me all the time even though a few items come close. Something is really odd about this picture.

    I assume that the notification will only occur if the AirTag is actively moving.  So either it must contain an accelerometer, or it queries the iOS devices that it pings and checks the status of their accelerometers (which doesn't seem likely given the privacy concerns).  Otherwise, you'd be correct - any AirTag separated from an owner would start alerting everyone within range.

    Imagine the following:  someone accidentally leaves an item containing an AirTag on a commercial jet, or else turns off his iPhone's Bluetooth during a long flight (i.e. airplane mode).  And then about an hour into the flight, 100 people on the plane start getting alerts that they are being tracked.
  • Reply 84 of 84
    I just need an accessory that attaches one to my Apple Pencil 2.
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