Lost car keys and misplaced wallets are a thing of the past thanks to my small army of Apple AirTags. Leaving the house no longer includes that annoying ritual of pointlessly checking my pockets for a few seconds before frantically starting to look for my lost item.
But like many early AirTag adopters, I’ve been spoiled by the gadget’s ability to save me time and make me seem more organized than I really am. Thankfully, trackers can do more than just pinpoint your essentials before running at Starbucks. Here are 10 tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Apple’s game-changing gadget.
AirTag sets itself apart from the item tracking competition with its pinpoint lookup capability. Like similar devices, Apple’s adoption of this technology will alert you to general areas where your lost item is located. But Pinpoint Find activated in the iPhone’s Find My app (compatible with iPhone 11 and later) offers more specific directions, including navigation arrows and a distance tracker. The feature is especially handy in noisy areas – the audible alarm may be drowned out – or if the articles you’re tracking are in danger of being covered and/or simply aren’t lying out in the open waiting to be discovered.
AirTags feel like an absolute lifesaver in those situations where you can’t find an important, misplaced item at all. But if you’re not careful, a dead battery can be the same lifesaver. You probably won’t have to worry about replacing dying cells for at least a year. However, once you hit the 12-month milestone, you’ll want to regularly monitor the power supply’s charge through the Find My app.
AirTags are waterproof and fairly durable, but you probably don’t want to test those qualities against your most valuable item—especially if you’re traveling. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or someone who works outdoors full-time, you might want to consider some extra protection for your smart devices. The Tank-like TagVault fits the bill, and then some, encasing your AirTags in a tough, water-resistant stainless steel case that can withstand the elements… maybe even a nuclear blast.
related: Why AirTags Are the Perfect School Supplies
Emojis are fun…and useful
If you use multiple AirTags, you will need to assign a specific name to each item to distinguish them from each other. But it’s also helpful to further differentiate each tracked item with an emoji, which can be easily assigned under “Rename AirTag” in the Find My app. Brightly colored emoji representing everything from keys and backpacks to your favorite pets (see next tip) give each item a cartoon character personality.
Putting an AirTag on your pet’s collar is a great way to keep an eye on them. Whether you have a particularly curious house cat that gets into every nook and cranny, or a dog that likes to roam the neighborhood, this option offers loving pet owners added peace of mind. That said, you need to make sure you connect the tracker in a way that is safe for the animal. With that in mind, it’s worth looking into the various collars and harness mounts designed for this purpose — like the waterproof version from the TagVault.
If your love of AirTags sees you attaching them to anything undecided, you’ve probably noticed your Find My app getting a little busy. Instead of scrolling through a long list or even relying on your iPhone, you can simply shout to Siri from any device within your iOS network. Just tell the AI assistant the name of the missing item and she’ll get to work.
If your tracked item does get lost, AirTag’s last-ditch feature can still help you find it. With Lost Mode enabled, anyone who stumbles across your valuables can get your contact information—and hopefully use it—by tapping the found AirTag to their device. In the Find My app, you’ll enable Lost Mode, and you can also choose which contact information to provide—a phone number or email address—and activate notifications so that if a well-meaning stranger tries to communicate with You’re reunited, and you’ll instantly receive an alert and your AirTag.
AirTags are most commonly attached to keyrings, wallets, and backpacks—and there’s definitely no shortage of aftermarket accessories designed to support these uses. But what if you wanted to put one on your favorite coffee mug, video game controller, or TV remote that was lost forever? Pelican’s Adhesive AirTag Holder attaches to your back…or your front or pretty much anywhere you want to attach your tracker. These versatile covers are also great for hiding or concealing, such as under a bike seat or in a tool box.
practical and stylish
Most AirTag users consider the tracker to be a purely functional item. While its ability to locate your lost loot is its main function, it can also be dressed up to express your personality and style. Whether you want to splurge on an expensive Gucci stand or stuff it into a pair of Mickey Mouse ears, there’s an entire market dedicated to making AirTags as stylish as they are functional.