Watch Marques Brownlee's hands-in review of Apple's new AirTags

Originally published at: Watch Marques Brownlee's hands-in review of Apple's new AirTags | Boing Boing

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For what it’s worth, Tile has the same network finding capabilities. If someone with the Tile app walks past a Tile, it will notify the owner of the general location. The Apple device does look pretty impressive, but I don’t think it will fit in a wallet!

So I can track my wife? Nice!

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It’s cool but it’s also Apple, would rather put my money elsewhere


Thing is, what other company is likely to do this with privacy and security in mind?

I’m really happy Apple has made sure someone can’t toss one of these in your stuff and track you without you knowing. They’re really through through the security implications, and I don’t think anyone else has come close to considering that.

The number of comments I’ve seen online pissed off that they will give up the fact that they are there and will warn iPhone users a tracker is nearby shows you how different the use case is: “We don’t want you to use these tags to spy on people, we want you to use them to be able to find your stuff!”


I thought the arrow was pretty cool. My tiles-- which I essentially use to find my wallet and keys (are they in the last pair of pants I was wearing? Where Oh where could they be? I’m going to miss my ride!) can only be really located by following the sound.

They’re technically pretty cool, but I’m not sure I will ever personally feel the need. My keys are always in my pocket, my phone and computer don’t need it, and if I lose a bag the problem would be that I mistakenly left it somewhere, not that I don’t remember where that was. Although, I guess there could be (is?) a facility to warn me when I’m moving away from my bag outside my home; I should find out about that.

Also: I’m not sure why this product gives me such a strong sense that it’s meant to go up your butt. What would that even be useful for? :thinking:

Yeah, it’s the kind of thing only Apple or Nintendo would do (most companies would pretend it never occurred to them), and a certain kind of internet person will compare it to soviet Russia, but why should they give you the “choice” to stalk folks?

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My main gripe is Apple’s monopolistic and anti-competitive attitudes, not to mention closed garden. There may not be many examples of companies that have high end devices that also have good security, and i’ll give you that, but i’m still not a fan.

Edit: I should add that i do like the pressure Apple brings to the market, it does force other companies to try to make better products. I’m not an Apple user so these tags are not for me but i’ll wait and hope someone comes out with something similar and that does more than the old Tiles we’ve had for a while

So are mine, until they’re not. And when they’re not, for some reason saying “yes they are” doesn’t make them magically show up there!


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The difference, and why Tile has been trying to get the US government to smite Apple, is that all iPhones will report the locations of airtags, not just the phones of people who happen to use airtags themselves. So from day one, Apple’s tracking will work much better, because they’ve remotely enabled it on a billion or so devices.

It’s not sinister per se – the way it works doesn’t risk anyone’s privacy – but it is an interesting question whether this is Apple abusing its market position. One obvious point is that if Tile cut a deal to get the same access on all Samsung devices (let alone all Android devices), they could have even more trackers out there than Apple does. And I doubt Tile are offering to have their own app track other brands of tags. But it is superficially the kind of thing regulators might use to concoct a case, if they really wanted to go after Apple.

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It’s a neurodiversity issue; if I ever don’t have keys, wallet, phone and gum in the correct pockets, there will be a suppressed hand-flapping situation. To the point, in fact, that I don’t even leave my keys behind on vacation.


I guess I should have said “similar,” not “the same.”

How do you sleep?


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If you’re talking about slipping one onto somebody to track them - as mentioned in the video, there’s a feature that’ll let you know if you’re being tracked by someone else’s tag.

Talking about it at 9:53

The wireless headphones I just got include TILE functionality. But they keep nagging me to turn on location even when the app is not foreground. Sorry the value proposition of running my battery into the ground to maybe help a stranger remember their yoga matt is not compelling.

Hoping that Apple figured out a lower power way to do this using their monopoly OS integration.

I wonder if the third-party “Find My” products will work the same way? Clearly, AirTags are focused on losing things and the privacy features kind of go against using it for anti-theft (or clandestine tracking). I would think the bike tracker announced the other week would focus on anti-theft unless people often lose them in a cluttered bike rack? I would think those privacy features would be annoying when people legitimately borrowed your bike.

That’s due to UWB that current Tiles don’t have (but rumored future Tiles will). I think there’s a dispute between Tile and Apple over integration.

Galaxy SmartTag+ was recently announced that uses BluetoothLE and UWB (Android only?). It uses AR where it shows a sparkly cloud when you point your camera to find your tagged item.

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They can be used to track someone who doesn’t have an iPhone. It’ll beep after three days away from its paired iPhone, but it won’t necessarily be anywhere that it can be heard.

If the range was a bit better, might be good for finding my wife in Costco (she never manages to hear her phone).

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put a bell on her :yum: