Apple’s September launch event came and went with no mention of the AirTags. But, what are the AirTags? And, why are they so elusive? Trusted Reviews has gathered all the latest news, rumours and leaks to keep you in the know about Apple’s answer to the Tile tracker.
The AirTags are a much-rumoured GPS tracking device that allow you to keep an eye on the whereabouts your keys, wallet or Apple Card from your smartphone. As with Tile’s trackers, the gadget will allow you to easily locate your valuables when they’re lost or misplaced, adding an extra layer of security to many of your belongings.
Talk of Apple’s first GPS tracker has been circulating for a while, with a handful of leaks suggesting the company has struggled to keep the product under wraps. The latest news comes from tipster Jon Prosser, who has shared exclusive renders of the supposed AirTags and discussed the design, specs and even accessories for the accessory in an in-depth YouTube video.
As far as Apple’s production schedule goes, our hopes have been dashed twice now. While the latest reports suggest the tracker is ready and waiting to be released, the AirTags failed to make an appearance at Apple’s annual WWDC developer conference back in June, and they were a no-show at its ‘Time Flies‘ event on September 15.
Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s AirTags, including how they work, what they look like and how much we expect them to cost. Make sure to bookmark this guide and keep checking back as we update this page regularly.
What are the AirTags?
The AirTags are Apple’s highly rumoured answer to Tile. The tracking accessory will allow you to GPS locate any item you attach it to, whether that be your keys, your bag or your Apple Card.
While Apple has yet to officially confirm the AirTags’ existence, we’ve seen enough leaks and rumours in the last year to assume the company is working on bringing its own tracking accessory to the market.
In April, Apple accidentally leaked the AirTags itself in the beta code for an iOS update. The company has also published and pulled a video that specifically referenced the device, making it clear that Apple has been struggling to keep the release under wraps.
Apple has also filed a patent for a suspiciously AirTag-like device in the past, which you can read below:
“Systems of radio frequency identification (RFID systems); radio frequency (RFID) labels, RFID tags, where RFID tags are in form of cards, tags or key rings; RFID markers, RFID bracelets, RFID rings, RFID disks, RFID labels, RFID stickers, RFID stamps, RFID printed circuits, RFID boles, RFID ear tags, RFID plastic or glass flasks, RFID keys, flexible cases, also in uncased version or in other types of cases, including with graphic image; readers; smart cards (integrated circuit cards); chips (integrated circuits), namely, RFID cards; computer software, recorded, including software for issue and control of RFID tags”.
In June, Twitter user @blue_kanikama shared what looks to be a marketing screenshot.
Meanwhile, Twitter leaker @Soybeys showcased what appear to be the AirTags’ sound effects. Whether these sounds will play from the app or from the tracker itself is still unclear.
The latest leaks come from tipster Jon Prosser. Prosser shared a video on the Front Page Tech YouTube channel earlier this week, giving his viewers an exclusive peak at the alleged tracking accessory.
According to Prosser, the AirTags will be slightly larger than a bottle cap in size, with a clean, white front and a polished metal back. The back of the tracker will also feature the Apple logo, of course.
You might have noticed that, unlike Tile’s trackers, there is no hole to attach the AirTags to your keys. One particularly interesting – and very Apple – detail in this leak is that Apple reportedly plans to sell the keychain separately. The keychain will feature a small leather pouch that you’ll be able to slip your AirTag into. While this likely means more money from your pocket, Prosser points out in the video that this could open the market to a range of unique third-party keychains and pouches.
As far as what is inside the tracker goes, Prosser says the AirTags will use ultra-wideband (UWB) technology for incredibly precise location tracking in the Find My app.
You can view the 3D renders of the AirTags made by @CConceptCreator below. These renders are based on videos supposedly supplied to Prosser to protect the source.
Related: Apple AirTags vs Tile
When are the AirTags coming out?
We hope to hear more about the Apple AirTags at the ‘Time Flies’ event on September 15.
We initially expected the AirTags to be unveiled at WWDC 2020 earlier this summer. Of course, that didn’t happen and it’s difficult to predict a release with the Covid-19 outbreak putting uncertainty on many tech supply chains, including Apple’s own iPhone 12.
In September, Nikkei reported that a source with knowledge of the AirTags has claimed the device has already gone into production. If this is true, we probably won’t need to wait much longer to hear an official announcement from Apple.
Likewise, Jon Prosser stated that the AirTags are “technically ready” and that, in terms of production schedule, they are done were likely to be announced at Apple’s September launch event. Of course, this didn’t happen, but it doesn’t sound like we’ll have long to wait if these sources are accurate.
How much will the AirTags cost?
There isn’t any reliable information about how much Apple AirTag will cost. Traditionally, Apple products have been more expensive than competing devices so we’d expect them to be more than Tile’s library of trackers.
Tile currently sells the Tile Sticker for £34.99 (two pack), the Tile Mate for £19.99, the Tile Slim for £24.99 and the Tile Pro for £29.99.