Apple's wants you to track your assets using their new tracking tool, the apple airtag. So, is this the right device? Does it present everything you need to track your vehicles?
With the increasing rate of car thefts, there needs to be a more effective way of tracking your vehicle. Could AirTags be a solution to this challenge?
Apple AirTags Tracking
These tags can be attached to an Apple product and they will allow you to see where it is at any given time on your phone.
The tag has a built-in GPS chip that sends information back to iOS devices like iPhones or iPads via Bluetooth technology. This way, users can keep track of their vehicle or any assets they put the device on by using the Find My iPhone app.
These devices send your location to iCloud. The Find My app can show you where it is on a map when location data is available. Compatible Apple devices will relay their ID to the Airtags, as well as their location data. The process is to protect your privacy. It is anonymous and encrypted.
The Lost Mode feature makes it easy to find your things. Just like your other Apple devices, AirTag can be put into Lost Mode. When this is detected by the network, you will get alerted. Notifications or alerts are then triggered when the AirTag is separated from its owner.
What about Android?
Android users will have to wait a little bit longer before they can use Airtags. But Apple is working on that problem. Apple AirTags is not currently compatible with Android. Android users can buy the Samsung SmartTags. But as the name suggests, this is only for Samsung products. Airtags are not currently compatible with Android. Apple collaborated with Google to expand the Find My network so that the device has built-in automatic notifications to warn against unwanted tracking.
Apple Airtag Cost
Apple charges around $45 per AirTag with a maximum of $149 for four. AirTags come with a 12-month replaceable battery. This feature is exclusive to Apple devices. Samsung's Samsung SmartTags cost around the same.
Apple's Airtag has water and dust resistance. It has a premium stainless steel finish. Accessories are also available for it. There is actually an airtag hermès travel tag! So you can go ahead and use it as a bag charm! The Airtags run on CR2032 battery that you can purchase cheap even in convenience stores.
Does Airtags work with all vehicles?
Apple AirTag is a small circular device smaller in diameter than a 50 cent coin that transmits its location to the owner of iPhone users. So you can attach AirTags to anything that needs tracking. So, you can put it inside your vehicle if you want to track it.
The Apple AirTags uses a nearby Apple device running the latest operating system to transmit its location. When the AirTag or your vehicle gets separated from you it has a high probability of getting close to any iPhone or iPad, as it only needs to come into contact within 20 meters. Apple AirTag will then transmit its location every few minutes.
Because Airtags are so small you can put them even in your wallet. The device then transmits its location to an iOS device with the Find My app. If you have an IOS user, you would be familiar with the Find My App. This was first developed to help you locate friends or family members keep track of their shared current location.
Apple Airtags can be used to track all of the information that your iPhone has, without any need for a cellular data connection (via Bluetooth). Any nearby iOS device will be able to tell where it is. The AirTag has a built-in NFC capable coil that can be utilized by the Apple Shortcuts app to open automation.
How to track when your vehicle is stolen?
Let's say you're the victim of a theft or your bag lost or stolen. What happens next?
Any iPhone or iPad within the range of your AirTag will pick up its location. The Apple AirTag then periodically reports its location to any nearby iOS devices.
With the Find My App on your phone, you can know where your car is. Find My App is the successor of Find My iPhone. It has always been a hit for people who use iPhone users that are afraid to lost items. This app was introduced in iPhone 11 and iPhone 12.
If you’re placing an Apple Airtag in your own car and assets you're good. It is safe to say that you are not breaking any laws. The Apple AirTags may present some legal risk if the tags are used without permission.
It is not recommended to use Airtag other than personal. Be cautious when devices for tracking for anything other than personal use. For an accurate determination, consult your local state laws.
What is the Catch?
A new technology that offers precision finding a location can be a double-edged sword. The small size of the Apple Airtag makes it easy for a person with ill intent to use them. It is the perfect device for spying on people. A new report says that AirTag stalking is easy because there are many weaknesses in Apple's privacy protections.
It is possible that criminals may take advantage of this technology. Location is critical to safety. If your location is being tracked by stalkers, it can be a dangerous situation. As with any new technology, there are positives and negatives. Read reviews to see if this is the product for you.
Apple Airtags' Need Improvements
Apple needs to address the issue of AirTag being easily lost and stolen. Whether there will be an update in the future that will discourage unwanted tracking remains to be seen. As mentioned in the beginning, if the person carrying the vehicle is running iOs and has the Find My App, they will be notified when there is an AirTag nearby.
Apple devices are well known for their high privacy features. Their users are expecting that they are looking into addressing some privacy concerns for the Airtags. Apple says these were designed for continuous updates.
How does it fare as a Vehicle tracker device?
If someone took your car without your knowledge and they have an iPhone, they would know if there is an Apple AirTag nearby. When an iPhone user has their device on them, there is a notification that alerts them to the presence of an AirTag nearby. The tags utilize Apple's system to transmit its location via Bluetooth range of Apple devices.
Unlike a GPS tracker that can be hidden or installed beneath the dashboard, an apple airtag is completely unattached. These devices' location data are found using the Find My App.
Can you track your fleet with it?
Airtags are not designed to track large fleets. Apple developed it for personal and family use. GPS tracking device is generally used for fleets of up to hundreds or even thousands. The scalability along with different real-time reporting features of GPS trackers still makes it the preferred device to manage multiple vehicles.
A GPS tracker versus an Airtag
It's a choice that comes down to preference. What devices answer your requirements? A GPS tracker can also be hidden and discreet. It would take someone with technical knowledge to find and shut down the device. An Airtag can be seen and then get disposed of.
4G Plug & Play GPS Tracker
Our 4G Plug & Play devices are easy to install. There are no wires, and you don't need any technical experience with cars to install them.
A GPS tracker has a battery inside that stays on even when someone takes it off. This means that, in most devices, the data will continue to send for 30-60 minutes (GPS tracker battery life varies). So you would still have data you can use to locate your vehicle.
GPS Trackers Tracks More
GPS trackers offer a lot more vehicle data than an Airtag. An Airtag only show the user's approximate location. GPS trackers offers security features that can help locate a device. Some GPS trackers even have engine disabling capabilities. This makes sense since GPS trackers were designed with optimizing vehicle tracking in mind.
The GPS trackers do not have a singular focus of determining not only where the fleet is or precision finding assets. But also other factors that are integral to fleet and vehicle management.
With the use of telematics software, comprehensive data that include fuel, speed, geofence and other reports are available. Data for analytics help in planning costs and securing assets. This is something that a device like an Airtag would not do.
The app comparison would be different for an Airtag and a GPS tracker. As mentioned earlier, a GPS tracker would have a lot more data because it tracks more than just location. Telematic reporting would provide more in-depth data tailored for fleet managers and owners.
Airtag has a great system for capturing location but it cannot be scaled. It would not be possible to track a fleet of cars with it. Airtags will not show you the data about how much fuel, speeding, and idle time. Data that's crucial for cost management.
Airtag is designed with personal use in mind. For those who want features to monitor a fleet, it is not nearly enough of a solution. It is limited to location data, GPS trackers are not.
The design of the AirTags makes them more fit for personal and family use. It is a good innovation that has many benefits. Future updates will likely make the technology as safe as possible. For fleet and business management, GPS trackers are still the best option.
If you're only concerned with locating your lost item or vehicle, maybe an AirTag is enough. But if you're looking to track your vehicle with security and data analytics in mind, a GPS tracker is still the way to go.