Airtag: Everything we know about Apple’s Tile Challengers

Last update (2020-09-09):

Mass produced now

Ever since last spring, there have been rumors that Apple is developing a Tile-like gadget finder tag. The name is claimed to be Airtag and code in various beta versions of iOS has revealed a lot about the product. Several times rumors have claimed that the launch was close, but we still have to wait.

Mac Otakara recently claimed that the launch will take place at the same time as the Iphone 12, and now writes Nikkei Asian Review that mass production of the chip has begun at Apple suppliers.

At next week’s event, Apple is expected to launch the Apple Watch Series 6 and a new Ipad Air, but nothing else according to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg.


Update (2020-08-27):

Two new patents

Appleinsider has found two new patent applications from Apple that appear to concern Airtag, the rumored name of the gadget finder tag the company appears to have in progress.

Both patents apply to the power management in the tray, which of course is extra important in a small product that should have as long a battery life as possible in order to be able to make a profit and help you find lost items.

Apple describes several technologies to save power. Among other things, the washer can stay in “ultra-low current mode” until, for example, it leaves a safe place or receives a special signal. It can also automatically activate a more alert position in particularly risky situations, such as when you sit on the train and arrive at a station or aircraft you are in landing.

Judging by the patents, at least this part of the development of Airtag takes place in Apple’s British office.


Update (2020-04-03):

Leaked at the Apple Store

Maybe there is a shortage of staff during the corona crisis. In one day, Apple has happened to unveil two unreleased products. In part, it was Iphone SE whose name appeared in a screen protector on the Apple Store, but it was not Thursday night’s only leak.

A new support video that Apple posted on Youtube showed a reference to Airtag, the gadget finder tag that the company is rumored to be developing and which will use the new U1 chip in Iphone 11 and the new Ipad Pro.

The video was detected by Appleosophy and was removed within a couple of hours.


Update (2020-02-25):

Charges wirelessly and is waterproof

Apple’s gadget finder tag Airtag (or Apple Tag) comes according to new rumors quoted by Macrumors to be completely waterproof, which means that it will be able to be used no matter how much it rains or snows.

When it comes to the built-in battery, it is said to be the same type of wireless charging used in the Apple Watch, in other words, it will be a solution based on magnets.

It has previously been rumored that the chip is based on Ultra Wideband (UWB), a technology used in the U1 chip that was introduced in the three models of Iphone 11.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Universal Scientific Industrial has been commissioned to manufacture the tiles. As for the launch, the latest offer is that it will not take place until the second or third quarter, ie sometime between April and September.

In other words, it may well be that Airtag will not be shown at the event that Apple is expected to organize at the end of March, but only in connection with the developer conference WWDC in June or Apple’s Iphone event in September.

Update (2019-10-31):

New screenshots

Macrumors has published new updated screenshots on the interface of the Find app in iOS 13.2 as it will look when Airtags is released.

The Airtags interface in Find

The screenshots were found by a reader and show how Apple has rearranged the design a bit since September when Macrumors published the first images. That time, the I tab had been replaced by Objects and ended up as a button next to the compass button, but in the new pictures, the app has four tabs instead.

Another difference is that one of the three emojis that represent different things you can attach an Airtag to has changed from a suitcase to a backpack.


Update (2019-10-29):

Name: Airtag

Guilherme Rambo on 9 to 5 Mac has rooted around in the iOS 13.2 update that was released yesterday and has found new information about the gadget finder chip that Apple looks to be ready for launch soon.

Above all, a name of the product is included: Airtag. Previously, it was only known as “B389”. Guiherme Rambo has found a folder with image resources for it, but the images in the folder are taken from other products such as Homepod and Airpods.

Macrumors reports at the same time that an application for trademark protection Airtag in the United States was submitted in October last year by a Russian company, which in July this year transferred the rights to a shell company in Delaware. It is a model Apple has used in the past to try to hide the registration of different trademarks.


Update (2019-09-20):

Screenshots of the new interface

It undeniably looks like Apple had planned to have another novelty ready for launch at the event on September 10, but had to cancel it at the last minute. References to what could be called the Apple Tag are sprinkled around iOS 13.

Find my items

Macrumors has previously rooted in an internal build of the system and found icons and images of how “B389” (product code name) will be used via the new Find app that merges Find Friends and Find My Iphone. Now the site has come across clearer screenshots.

Where the Find app today has the People, Devices and I tabs, the last one will be replaced by a things / items tab where you add Apple’s gadget finder tag and track these. The info button that today appears next to the compass icon on the map is instead replaced by an icon that leads to the same functions that are now in the I-tab.


Update (2019-08-31):

“B389”

The first beta version of iOS 13 contained references to a product called “Tag1,1” and an icon that shows that it seems to be a small tag you can, for example, put in the bag or attach to the keychain to then be able to find it with the app Find my.

Macrumors has now published new information about the little gadget finder chip, with the help of an internal build of iOS 13 that the site has come across.

Among other things, the site has found a new image reminiscent of the Guilherme Rambo on 9 to 5 Mac first found in June. The tiles also have another code name, B389, and a long line of text strings clearly shows what it’s about. An example is “label your everyday items with B389 so you never lose them again”.

In the internal construction of the system, the new app Find My – which is a merger of Find My Iphone / Ipad and Find My Friends – also has a third tab: Objects.

When the Iphone is too far away from any of the connected discs, a notification is displayed and the disc can start playing a sound. The user can set “safe places” where the tiles can be left without activating the warnings.

If you can not find something you have marked with an Apple tray, you can activate a “lost mode”. The badge will then tell other Iphone users nearby that they have found a lost item, and will show contact information you have entered. You will also receive a notice that someone has found the object.

According to Macrumors, the Find My app will be able to show where a tile is using augmented reality. When you move around the room around the tray, the app places a virtual balloon where it perceives it to be, for example over the back of the sofa when your keychain has slipped down behind the sofa cushions.

Macrumors points out that the iOS version they have been snooping around in is from June and that much may have changed since then.


Update (2019-06-05):

Tile-like washer

Earlier rumors that Apple would merge Find My Iphone and Find My Friends into one and the same app turned out to be right. That app is now called Find My. We have not yet seen a bluetooth tracker, but 9 to 5 Mac with Guilherme Rambo in the lead has discovered references to a product called “Tag 1.1.”

It may very well be the bluetooth tracker that was previously rumored. According to rumors, the product will be paired with an Iphone by holding it close to the phone, much like Airpods are paired with an Iphone today.

Apple bluetooth tag
Photo: 9 to 5 Mac

The code also found a simple image on the tag, which can be attached to things we do not want to lose and which can then be tracked in the Find My app. A possible launch can take place in September.


Previously (2019-04-18):

A new, somewhat unexpected rumor claims that Apple is aiming for a major upgrade of the Find My Friends and Find My Iphone apps, reports 9 to 5 Mac. The development will go under the name “Green Torch” (“green flashlight”) and be merged into a single app for both iOS and Mac OS under the Marzipan program.

The app will have a new function called Find Network which can find things even when these are not connected to a mobile network or wifi. Through the app, we should also be able to ask a friend or family member to follow their position, as well as receive notifications about when a person leaves or comes to a place.

However, the app should not be limited to people or Apple gadgets. According to the information, Apple is working on a new type of “gadget finder,” similar to what Tile sells. The small tag, which goes by the code name “B389,” should be able to be attached to pretty much anything, and linked to our Icloud account. The tag should also be able to send notifications when it gets too far from its paired device, such as an Iphone .

When this product will be shipped, 9 to 5 Mac has no information about, but it may be as soon as the next Iphone update in September.

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