Apple loves second-gen products, often trapping newbies with a promising but flawed or incomplete original product before it popularizes with a sequel that fixes the big problems of the first model.
The list goes on: Apple Watch, Apple Pencil, or even the original iPhone. And now we can add the AirTag to this list. While there are a lot of positives about Apple’s tracker, Apple could improve it in a few ways with the inevitable AirTag 2.
The missing hole
Some tracking objects have a hole and some don’t, but the ones the AirTag competes with most directly (the Tile Pro and Mate, the Samsung SmarTag or even the Chipolo One Spot which uses the ‘Find’ network) ‘from Apple) are included in the list. second category. They have a hole and that is why it is easy to see them attached to a key chain.
The absence of a hole in the AirTag is no surprise given Apple’s well-known predilection for pristine minimalism, but it is inelegant and inappropriate. And that forces users to purchase an accessory that can cost the same as the AirTag itself (according to Apple, that’s more of a perk than a hassle).
Different sizes for different uses
When you buy an AirTag, there is only one shape and one size to choose from. Tile, meanwhile, sells a wide variety of designs: the sticker, with an adhesive back for controls and tools; the Mate and the Pro, ideal for keys and zippers; and the Slim, which fits nicely in a wallet.
The optimal design of a tracker depends on how you use it, and having a large catalog of designs is an advantage that Tile currently has over its competitors. The AirTag is very versatile thanks to its accessories, but there are other times when it won’t turn out so well. Expanding the range would solve this problem and help make the AirTag more versatile.
The AirTag is great at helping you find lost items, but it would be best if it kept you from losing them, in which case it would be ideal if an alert was sent to let you know that you have been separated from them.
If the user wishes, this function would cause a notification to appear and an alarm would sound from the tracker if the AirTag and the paired iPhone are separated by approximately 3 meters, and thus you will be notified when you have left the keys in the taxi or you dropped them in the sand on the beach.
Detachment alert might seem like a very basic feature of Bluetooth trackers, but in fact it’s not available on either the Samsung SmartTag or the standard Tile (you get smart alerts with the Premium subscription). But Apple is uniquely positioned to deliver this feature, and it missed an opportunity to set itself apart from the competition.
If you are looking for something that you have lost at home, map tracking won’t help you much. This is when the Find app goes into precision find mode, which offers the exact distance and direction of the AirTag, as long as you have an iPhone 11 or 12 with an ultra-wideband chip.
The app will go ultra-broadband at a distance of around 10 meters, but (at least in our tests) the mode doesn’t give you useful tracking information until you find yourself within 3-4 meters.
It’s a kind of blind spot. The AirTag offers extremely precise tracking over a very wide or very short distance, but there is an uncertain gap in between.
With no ultra-wideband on any of its trackers, the Tile app doesn’t match precision seeking with pinpoint accuracy, but its basic tracking mode, which works with signal strength up and down. , works best at medium distances.
Apple should include something similar in AirTag 2. Maybe it should call it “Fuzzy Search”.
Everyone has the right to their privacy
Apple likes to be seen as the pro-privacy tech company and has added several layers of privacy protection to AirTag’s capabilities. One of them is to prevent the tracker from being used to harass: if an iPhone detects an unrecognized AirTag near you, you will be alerted a few hours later.
The problem is, only iPhone owners will have the privilege of having this alert. Also, only those who have a device with iOS 14.5 or later. This makes the vast majority of people, whether they are Android fans, iPhone owners with Software old or those who do not wear smartphone above, unprotected.
The AirTag will play a sound to alert these users that a loose tracker is near them, but activation takes three days, which is too long.
Granted, there are some technical issues, and Apple’s flawed efforts are better than those of its rivals. But it’s equally clear that Apple’s efforts aren’t enough: Apple believes everyone has a right to their privacy, and that should include the best protection against harassment, something the biggest tech company in the world. world can offer.
Apple may begin to make AirTag privacy alerts compatible with other devices, as well as reduce the time that an “abandoned” AirTag starts issuing notifications. None of this has to wait for the arrival of AirTags 2.
The Family Sharing feature is one of the most underrated parts of the Apple ecosystem, making it easy for couples, kids, and grandparents to share services, storage, purchases, and money. But they cannot share AirTags.
That’s a difficult omission to fathom in a device designed for sharing: keys, dog collars, bags, umbrellas, whatever you want. But you can only assign an AirTag to one person, so if your husband takes your car keys, he won’t be able to track them if he loses them.
We hope this will be one of the big news in AirTags 2, if it takes that long to fix it.
The AirTag made headlines earlier this month when Australia’s Officeworks store stopped selling it due to battery issues. We have to admit we’re not aware of any regulatory issues here, but in our testing the AirTag battery was easier to remove than on a Samsung Tile or SmartTag when you remove the back cover.
The AirTag’s battery pops out instantly, while in the others you have to use a little more force, making it harder for the little ones to access.
If the relevant regulators conclude that the AirTag battery must be more difficult to access to protect children, or better said, Apple will have to follow these tips.
But beyond that, a small change in the battery compartment would make the AirTag even more secure.
Original article published in igamesnews US.