I’m going to be ordering AirTags, as they are looking like the best implementation yet of a small tracking device to keep tabs on our possessions. I will, though, likely go easy on the accessories: I think I’m going to be using velcro tape as my primary means of attaching them.
But, as nice as they appear to be, AirTags are, in my opinion, actually the least-exciting part of this new Find My approach…
Attaching a dedicated tracking device to an item is merely an interim solution. The long-term approach is for companies to embed Find My tech directly into their own products.
It’s debatable whether Apple already planned to license the tech to other brands, or was pressured into doing so by antitrust concerns. Either way, though, this is the future.
I don’t want to have to attach an AirTag to a camera, I want the camera to have Find My capabilities built right in. I don’t want an AirTag baggage tag on my travel bag, I want my bag to have the feature as standard. Same with everything from headphones to bicycles. (Actually, more than anything else, I want the tech built into sunglasses, as statistically those are my most-misplaced possession!)
It’s why I’m opting for the grammatically awkward Find My Diary, rather than an AirTag Diary. But AirTag is where the journey starts, so what are my thoughts?
First, I mentioned yesterday that the cost was a very welcome surprise. At $50 each, which would have been my guess beforehand, it would have required some thought to decide which items justified one. But at $25 each in multipacks, they are cheap enough to take a more casual approach. One pack was a no-brainer, and I decided that I would undoubtedly end up adding more, so I might as well start with a couple of packs.
As regular readers will know, I’m something of a bagoholic. For everyday use, I typically choose from a set of four bags, depending on what I’m carrying or on a whim. I have three other bags I use less frequently. For travel, I have a carry-on roller bag I pair with one of my everyday bags. So I think what I’m likely to do is attach one to each of my main everyday bags, and one to the roller bag, which is already five.
Apple is not positioning AirTag as an anti-theft device. Especially if people use luggage tags to attach them to bags, they will be very obvious and it will take a thief only a second or two to dump the tag. All the same, I do think they can be anti-theft (or, more precisely, theft-recovery) devices if positioned less obviously. I’ll certainly be aiming to mount them reasonably unobtrusively to my bags.
I’ll also attach one somewhere on my videography rig. There is no chance that I’ll ever inadvertently leave this behind, but when shooting outside and switching between two cameras, there is a tiny but not non-zero chance that someone could snatch it and run. Finding a not-immediately-obvious place for an AirTag would mean a decent chance of catching them before they have time to examine it closely.
I’m also going to hide one on my bike. This is already fitted with a GPS tracker, but no harm in belt-and-braces when it comes to protecting one of my most-treasured possessions.
All of which leaves me with one spare – and I’m guessing it won’t be long before I think of a use for that!
What about you? Are you going to be ordering AirTags? If so, how many, and how do you expect to use them? Please share your plans in the comments.