What you need to know
- Apple is expected to launch a Tile-like tracker eventually.
- AirTags have been rumored for a long time now.
- They will reportedly be powered by a removable battery.
I have many, many questions about AirTags – the Tile-like trackers we're waiting for – but I can't say that their power source is one of them. But here we are, with the hot news being that they'll use the same batteries as your digital scales. Or your computer's logic board. Or anything else that's boring but probably dotted around your home right now.
The battery I'm talking about is the ubiquitous CR2032 battery.
A new report by MacRumors notes that a prototype of an AirTag has a back cover that can have a screw removed and then removed by turning it counter-clockwise. In there will be the battery. Pop it out. Pop a new one in. Robert's your father's brother.
Once a battery has been replaced, users will bring the AirTag near an iPhone or iPad to initiate the pairing process, according to the report.
Apple's closest AirTag competitor is the Tile Pro and it already has a removable battery that works in much the same way. Other Tile products don't have replaceable batteries, something the company has come in for criticism over.
We initially expected AirTags to be announced alongside last year's iPhones, but that didn't happen. Now they are thought to be just around the corner, although that could be as far away as the 2020 iPhone announcement that will likely take place in six months or so.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.