What you need to know
- New tests have revealed the power of Apple's AirTag, and how easy it is for other users to reunite you with one if lost.
- TechRadar tested both an AirTag and a Tile Mate to see which one would be discovered first.
- The AirTag was found in just 30 minutes, whilst Tile's tracker took 12 hours.
In a report, TechRadar tested both AirTags and a Tile Mate, one of the best Bluetooth trackers around, to see which one would be found first by someone out in the community:
TechRadar placed both "behind a street sign on a busy thoroughfare, around one mile from our home" at 9 am on a Monday morning. They returned home, marked both as lost, and then waited.
TR says that within just 30 minutes they had received a notification to say their lost AirTag had been identified by a passing iPhone:
The report says that the same alert was received 13 times in total from iPhones passing by that had identified the lost tracker. Importantly, the location given each time was slightly off, marking it on a nearby parallel road rather than where the AirTag was left. As the report notes, Apple's Precision Finding feature powered by Ultra Wideband technology would bridge this gap in location accuracy if you were trying to find your lost items.
By contrast, it was "almost 12 hours" before someone in the Tile community detected the missing Tile Mate (which was in the same spot) and sent off a notification to say the item had been found. In contrast to the AirTag however, the location given was much more accurate from AirTags.
As the report notes, the proliferation of iOS, and in particular iOS 14 is such that AirTag is already a very powerful tracker despite being just a few weeks old thanks to Apple's FindMy technology and its ecosystem.
The case isn't open-and-shut however when it comes to AirTag versus its competitors, check out our guide below for the full lowdown.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9