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Apple AirTags: are they actually useful?

Words by Nathan Irvine

Always there

Although they don't technically do much, Apple AirTags just might be one of the most genius products the tech giant has put out. The thin, little disc - about the same size as a draughts board piece - can help you locate all manner of items. Stick them in wallets, car keys or on the collar of a pet that has a habit of running off, and you can use the Find My app on iPhone/iPad to find them again. Clever, right?

We got our hands on Apple AirTags to give them a thorough test. Here's what you need to know.

AirTags are easy to pair with iPhone/iPads

As soon as I remove the bit of plastic that the AirTags come wrapped in, my iPhone instantly asks if I want to pair them with my device. Confirming this action then allows you to name them - so labels such as 'car keys', 'wallet' and the like. You can be good to go in under a minute.

They're super-slim

These smooth edge discs are small and light enough to slide into a wallet without making it seem bulky. Obviously, you'll need to get a compatible keyring so you can hook them to door keys, luggage or bags. Right now, Apple is the only place to get a leather keyring (from AED 159) that fits with AirTag. We expect less official suppliers to break into the market soon.

They send out a distress signal

Well, sort of. Basically, in the Find My app you can make AirTags make a sound when you're close by. It's really handy for finding something that's been accidentally dropped in a certain room and can at least help you to pinpoint its location more accurately.

Finding stuff has been gamified

It's actually quite satisfying to find your items again. The whole process has a real life video game feel to it. You log into Find My and then click "Find" and it takes you into a real-time view of where the items are in relation to your current location. It points arrows and gives you an approximate distance to the AirTag - it even tells you when it's right behind you. When you do find it the screen changes to green and vibrates. It's almost worth losing the AirTag just to enjoy finding it again.

You can customise them

If you're picking up your AirTags at an Apple store, you can customise the white surface area for free. They can be engraved with your initials or, if you're that way inclined, an emoji.

Apple AirTags are out now at Apple stores or online from AED 129

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