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Apple AirTag Review

Apple AirTag Review

Not a perfect Apple product, mind you. AirTag has room to grow. However it actually encapsulates some critical aspects of Apple's product design philosophy for both good and ill.

Apple has normally excelled at purpose-built products. Think of Apple's numerous "pod" products over time: iPod, HomePod, AirPods. All glorious products built towards singular purposes (even if the HomePod has now been discontinued, I still contend that it's a superb speaker, just as Apple designed it to be).

AirTags are just such a product. Apple designed these little trackers to do one kind of thing: enable you to find your misplaced stuff. They usually do that well! Very well, in fact. There are just some design decisions that I query and finally hope Apple finds a way to address.

At $29, the AirTag worth is right. A little more expensive than its Tile Mate or Chipolo One competitors and a little less costly than the Tile Pro, AirTags are priced more competitively than I believe many (myself included) feared.

Yow will discover AirTags online, and they are now available in Apple Stores, as well as third-party retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. While delivery dates have already slipped into early Could, I count on that Apple will be able to keep up with demand for this particular product. If you wish to get your AirTags engraved, it's best to anticipate some shipping delay from Apple.

If I had to pick one phrase to summarize Apple's approach to the AirTag's design, it can be "unobtrusive, however not invisible." One thing that's clear in everything from the software to the accessories to the actual AirTag itself is that this is a device that's meant to be noticed, even if only for a second. Maybe smartly, Apple isn't positioning AirTag as an anti-theft gadget however as a loss prevention/recovery one.

Unsurprisingly, the AirTag itself is fairly easy, with the white shell of the tracker completely unadorned save for any engraving you could have performed through the ordering process (side note: Apple, is there a particular reason why sure frequent, useful emoji, like keys, aren't available for AirTag engraving?). On the flip side, the stainless steel battery cover is etched with writing, letting you know that this is certainly an AirTag, makes use of Bluetooth LE and Ultra Wideband, and that it's assembled in China. All of this writing surrounds the matte etched Apple emblem in the center of the cover.

Now, on a certain level, of course it doesn't. Is Apple really going to put a gap at a single level of their good little circle? No, obviously not (also, now it's important to buy an accessory, maybe from Apple). On the other hand, it creates a notable problem for one of the major uses of an item tracker, and that is keeping track of your keys!

Because if you're going to put an AirTag in a bag or purse, then you're fine just picking up an AirTag. However if you wish to put these in your keys, which I've to stress, is going to be the reason some individuals consider picking an AirTag up, you additionally have to get some kind of carrying accessory that attaches your AirTag to your keys.

That aside, I really like the design of the AirTag, as much or more than different trackers, at least as an object. It's like a slightly over-large go tile. Plus, the battery compartment is simple to open and shut, making removing an old battery and changing it with a new one very simple.

The AirTag has strong hardware, I think Apple could've executed more to increase its capabilities. Is this a dealbreaker for you? It is not for me. When I think of the drawbacks presented by the lack of a keyring gap versus the potential tracking energy of the Discover My network, and then I think about the comparatively limited networks of competing products, I think it's well worth the trade-off, and thus, having to make another purchase to attach AirTags to my keys.

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