Since the release of the Apple AirTag in early 2021, there’s been some discussion about if the new iPhone accessory can be used to keep track of furry friends. Because let’s face it – any product that can help us ensure the well-being of our dog and cat buddies is priceless, ain’t it? But before you start AirTag-ing all your pets, it’s important to be aware of the functions, features, and limitations of AirTag for pet lovers. Can you trust a Bluetooth tracker built for tracking keys (high tech as it may be) to keep your buddy safe? What about GPS pet trackers on the market – how does Apple AirTag compare to them? We’ll cover all that and more, to help you choose the best technology for your beloved fur-baby.
What is the Apple AirTag?
If you haven’t heard already or are not totally clear on it yet, the Apple AirTag is essentially a tiny item-tracking device that is compatible with iOS devices. It contains a small replaceable battery, built-in speaker, and Bluetooth, as well as Apple’s U1 chip. The U1 or ultra-wideband chip is unique to recent Apple devices, and allows them to communicate with each other within a limited range.
The AirTag works by sending out a Bluetooth signal that can get picked up by other people’s iOS devices when they are within range of your AirTag. Then, the other iOS device will send that information to you. The process is secure, anonymous and encrypted.
For the Apple AirTag to work, it relies on there being other iOS devices nearby. This makes Apple’s AirTag the ideal solution for finding your lost keys, say for example in a busy downtown coffee shop – or locating your misplaced jacket around the house with other iPhone users nearby.
However, in the forest, or in the countryside, it may not be the best option for finding your beloved four-legged friend if they are on the run.