Thanks to my small army of Apple AirTags, losing my car keys and misplacing my wallet are inconveniences of the past. Leaving the house no longer includes that annoying ritual of pointlessly checking my pockets for a few seconds before frantically setting off to search for my lost items.
But like many early AirTag adopters, I’ve long been spoiled by the gadget’s ability to save me time and make me look far more organized than I actually am. Thankfully, the tracker can do much more than simply pinpoint your essential stuff before a Starbucks run. Here are nine tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Apple’s game-changing gadget.
The AirTag separates itself from the item-tracking competition with its Precision Finding feature. Like other similar devices, Apple’s take on the tech alerts you to the general area where your lost item was left. But Precision Finding, activated in the iPhone’s Find My app (and compatible with iPhone 11 and higher) offers more specific directions, complete with navigational arrows and a distance tracker. The feature is especially handy in loud areas, where an audio alert may be drowned out, or if there’s a possibility your tracked article is covered and/or simply not lying in the open waiting to be discovered.
The AirTag can feel like an absolute lifesaver in situations where you’d otherwise be at a complete loss to track down an important, misplaced item. But a depleted battery can deflate that same life saver if you’re not careful. You probably won’t have to worry about replacing a dying cell for at least a year. Once you reach that 12-month milestone though, you’ll want to monitor the power source’s juice via the Find My app on a pretty regular basis.
AirTags are water-resistant and fairly durable, but you may not want to test those qualities with your most valuable items — especially when you’re traveling. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or someone who works outside full–time, you may want to consider some extra protection for your tracker. The tank-like TagVault fits the bill and then some, encasing your AirTag in a rugged, waterproof stainless steel shell that’ll stand up to the elements…and possibly a nuclear blast.
Related: Why AirTags are a perfect school supply
Emojis are fun and functional
If you’re using multiple AirTags, you’ll want to assign each item a specific name to differentiate them from one another. But it’s also helpful to further distinguish each tracked item with emojis, easily assigned under “Rename AirTag” in the Find My app. Brightly colored emojis, representing everything from keys and backpacks to your favorite pet (see next tip) make each item pop with its own cartoon–y personality.
Attaching an AirTag to your pet’s collar is a great way to keep tabs on them. Whether you’ve got an especially curious house cat that gets into every nook and cranny or a dog with a penchant for wandering the neighborhood, this option provides loving pet owners some additional peace of mind. That said, you’ll want to ensure you’re attaching the tracker in a way that’s safe for the animal. With that in mind, it’s worth looking into the various collar and harness mounts — like TagVault’s waterproof version — specifically designed for this purpose.
If your love of AirTags has seen you attaching them to anything that’s not nailed down, you’ve probably noticed your Find My app is becoming a bit busy. Rather than scrolling through a long list — or even relying on your iPhone, for that matter — you can simply give Siri a shout on any device within your iOS network. Just give the AI assistant the name of the lost article and she’ll get to work.
If your tracked item is truly lost, the AirTag’s last–ditch feature could still help you find it. With Lost Mode enabled, anyone who stumbles across your valuables can acquire your contact information — and hopefully use it — by tapping the found AirTag to their device. Within the Find My app, where you’ll enable Lost Mode, you can also choose what contact info to provide (phone number or email address) and activate notifications so you’ll be immediately alerted if a kind stranger tries to reunite you and your AirTag.
AirTags are most commonly attached to key rings, wallets and backpacks, and there’s absolutely no shortage of aftermarket accessories designed to support those uses. But what if you want to put one on your favorite coffee mug, video game controller or that eternally missing TV remote? Pelican’s adhesive AirTag mounts have got your back — or your front, or pretty much anywhere you want to stick the tracker. These versatile cases are also great for hidden or discreet placement, like under a bicycle seat or in a toolbox.
Functional and fashionable
Most AirTag adopters think of the tracker as a solely functional item. And while its ability to locate your lost loot is its primary function, it can also be dressed up a bit to express your personality and style. Whether you want to pony up for a pricey Gucci holder or pop one into a pair of Mickey Mouse ears, there’s an entire market dedicated to making the AirTag as fashionable as it is functional.