Just how far can you track an AirTag, you ask?
Well, buckle up, because the tracking distance of this nifty little device is seriously impressive.
Apple wasn’t kidding when they said that their clever addition to the Find My ecosystem is changing the game when it comes to locating your lost items, whether they’re right under your nose or miles away. Score another one for Apple!
Curious about how it all works?
Well then, keep reading!
Let’s get into it by spinning a little yarn.
Did you catch that TikTok video where the woman heading for the Bahamas discovered her suitcase had taken a detour to Atlanta airport? She handled it like a champ.
She alerted the airline representative that her luggage had gone on a separate vacation. And how did she know? You guessed it – the AirTag.
If you’ve been googling around, you’ll find her story is just one among many glowing AirTag success stories out there. Pretty cool, huh?
With its compact, button-sized design, the AirTag is a cinch to attach to anything and everything. Meaning, with an AirTag, essentially, everything you own can be tracked.
How is that possible?
While Apple has kept some of the nitty-gritty under wraps, they’ve explained that the AirTag uses Bluetooth to pop up on nearby devices in the Find My network.
An AirTag can ping its current whereabouts to its owner, provided it’s in the vicinity of an iPhone user.
Once an iPhone picks it up, you’ll see its most recent location and timestamp in your Find My app.
Given the sheer number of iPhone users in the Find My network, it’s no wonder this handy little tracker practically works everywhere!
Can I still track my AirTag from hundreds of miles away?
The fact is, with the help of fellow iPhone users, your AirTag could be traced even if you accidentally left it halfway across the globe.
Apple states that nearly a billion devices are part of the Find My Network. That’s right, almost one billion Apple devices!
Chances are pretty high that wherever your travels take you, you’ll stumble upon someone with an iPhone.
Still skeptical about the far-flung tracking abilities of an AirTag?
Head over to @airtag_gram on Instagram. There, a self-proclaimed geography enthusiast is documenting the worldwide journey of his three AirTags.
AirTags’ durability in water
For all the parents wondering if they can use an AirTag to keep tabs on their little rascals at the beach, the answer, unfortunately, is no.
Even if you sneak an AirTag into their clothing, it could stop functioning if your child spends too long in the water.
Plus, the AirTag won’t be detectable while it’s underwater.
AirTags are water-resistant, not waterproof. They’re designed to withstand a half-hour soak in three feet (one meter) of water. Anything beyond that depth or time, and you run the risk of damaging the AirTag.
But don’t sell the AirTag short!
One user managed to retrieve his AirTag after it spent two weeks in a river, still functioning!
While that’s likely an outlier, it’s amazing to know an AirTag can potentially endure that much water exposure.
Some AirTag owners have put their trackers through the wringer in other ways, testing their durability by freezing them overnight or putting them through a washing machine cycle.
Remarkably, no harm done, and the battery still held its charge!
AirTags’ detection of height
What happens if your AirTag ends up in a multistory building, like an apartment complex or shopping center?
If you’re on the second floor and your AirTag-toting wallet is left on the fourth, could you see on Find My that it’s two floors above you?
Using the Precise Finding feature, you’ll notice the arrow doesn’t point up or down, indicating a vertical position.
A potential workaround might be moving your iPhone up and down to try and pin down the exact location of your AirTag. If it hits on a location for Precise Finding, you can see which direction to head in.
Of course, if you know you’re in the right building, you can methodically check each floor until Precise Finding guides you to it.
It may be a bit of a hassle, but at least you’ll find your lost item!
AirTags might not excel at altitude detection currently, but who’s to say? Apple could be working to enhance this in future AirTag generations.
Sure thing! Even with its game-changing capabilities, an AirTag does have a few limitations:
- It’s unable to operate in remote areas. This isn’t surprising considering the AirTag relies on Bluetooth signals to connect with other iPhones. If no iPhone wanders within a 30-foot radius of your AirTag, you won’t get an update on its location.
- The battery drains fast, depending on usage. Even though an AirTag’s battery can last well over a year before you need to switch it out, intense usage can shorten this lifespan.
(If you want to learn more about AirTag battery life, you can check out my other article “How Long Do AirTags Last? [All About the Battery]”.)
- It’s unable to work in extreme temperatures. It’s designed to operate in temperatures from -4°F to 140°F. Outside this range, you might run into some problems.
How far is the AirTag’s range? How deep can it be submerged in the water, but still work? Can it detect vertical distance? Learning the answers to these questions will help us utilize this robust little gadget to the fullest.
It’s remarkable that an iPhone user halfway around the globe can help locate your wayward AirTag.
And despite the fact that an AirTag doesn’t transmit when submerged, it can hold its own in three feet of water for half an hour (some users found their AirTags made it through much longer).
When it comes to vertical location detection, the AirTag still has strides to make. But never fear, with Apple’s consistent technological innovations, this feature might just be right around the corner.
If your AirTag isn’t behaving as expected, you can reach out to Apple Support at 1-800-275-2273 or check out their website.
Personally, I rely on my AirTag to keep tabs on my perpetually disappearing keys. How about you? Have you come up with any ingenious uses for your AirTag?
Do share your experiences!