One Day With AirTags

One more from Matthew Panzarino:

With you, by the way, means in relative proximity to a device signed in to the iCloud account that the AirTags are registered to. Bluetooth range is typically in the ~40 foot range depending on local conditions and signal bounce.

In my very limited testing so far, AirTag location range fits in with that basic Bluetooth expectation. Which means that it can be foiled by a lot of obstructions or walls or an unflattering signal bounce. It often took 30 seconds or more to get an initial location from an AirTag in another room, for instance. Once the location was received, however, the instructions to locate the device seemed to update quickly and were extremely accurate down to a few inches.

Same experience here. Takes a little longer than I’d wish to get the initial signal — sometimes — but once it has the signal, it’s accurate to within inches.

My quickie review: AirTags are a nice size. Bigger than a quarter, smaller than a Snapple bottle cap. They’re lighter than I expected. I still don’t know where I will use them, as someone who almost never misplaces his keys and prefers to carry just two keys on a very small ring. Apple’s AirTag keychain is bigger and weighs more than my two lone keys. I guess I’ll put one in my laptop bag, but I had a Tile tracker in there for years and never once used it. I figure putting an AirTag in my bag is a good way to guarantee an anti-Murphy’s Law result, and never lose it.

Here’s the other weird thing. Apple sent reviewers five AirTags: a standalone unit, and a 4-pack of custom-engraved ones. In the 4-pack, one of them was blank. My other three were: a 👍 emoji, “JG”, and “RJT”. The emoji and “JG” I understood. “RJT” I did not. I asked a bunch of friends, checked for slang I might be too old to have heard, and no one could figure this out. I asked a few fellow-reviewer friends, and none of them got one with their initials. I broke down and asked Apple, and they claimed it was random. I just lucked into a kit with “JG” as one of the engravings.

That seems hard to believe, but Rene Ritchie got his kit today (blame Canadian customs), and his 4-pack was identical to mine: blank, 👍, “JG”, and “RJT”. Other reviewers got different combinations, but apparently a bunch got the same ones I did. I’m just lucky enough to have the right initials.

Thursday, 22 April 2021