If you’re one of those people who constantly misplace their car keys or wallet, Apple’s latest iOS 17 update has some good news for you. Picture this: you’re rushing out the door, desperately searching for your car keys, and you’ve enlisted the help of everyone in the house. Well, thanks to Apple, that frantic treasure hunt might just become a thing of the past.
Enhanced AirTag sharing experience
AirTag, Apple’s innovative tracking device, has been elevated with the ability to be shared with up to five people. Yes, you heard that right – you can now recruit your friends, family, or roommates in the search for your lost items. This feature transforms the way friends and family can collectively keep tabs on shared items like car keys, an umbrella, or a bike.
To share your AirTag you will need to follow these steps:
- Open the ‘Find My’ app on your iPhone
- Tap on Items at the bottom of the screen
- Select the AirTag you wish to share
- Click Add Person under the ‘Share This AirTag’ section
- Scroll down and tap Continue
- Choose up to five contacts to share the AirTag with by tapping on their contact information where it says To:
- Then, hit the Share button
- The 5 contacts must have an Apple ID and use the Find My app. If you try to add a contact that does not have an Apple ID and use the Find My App a window will pop up like the one below, saying the number may not be using Find My.
Pros and cons of sharing the AirTag with others
Consider the ease now for families tracking a set of house keys or groups managing shared equipment. This feature is a game-changer for everyday convenience and security. It’s not just about finding lost items; it’s about creating a sense of community and shared responsibility.
Advantages and considerations
While the update is a significant improvement, it’s also important that we bring up potential concerns. The AirTag sharing is exclusive to the Apple ecosystem, which could limit its applicability. Also, despite Apple’s strong focus on privacy and security, you should remain aware of the potential for misuse in tracking individuals without consent.
Enhanced tracking capabilities: Sharing AirTags allows multiple users to track a single item. This is particularly useful for items used by groups or families, like shared bags or equipment.
Convenience for travelers: For those who travel, AirTags offers a way to keep track of luggage, reducing the anxiety associated with lost or delayed bags.
Precision Finding feature: AirTag comes with a Precision Finding feature that guides users to their lost item with on-screen directions, which is especially useful for quickly locating items like keys or wallets.
Compatibility limitations: AirTags are only compatible with Apple products, specifically iPhones running iOS 14.5 or later and iPads running iPadOS 14.5 or later. This limits their use to those within the Apple ecosystem.
Potential privacy concerns: While AirTags have several privacy protections in place, like Bluetooth technology and end-to-end encryption, there is still a risk of them being used to track someone without their knowledge or consent.
Additional costs: AirTags do not come with built-in key ring holes, requiring separate purchases of holders. This additional cost can add up, especially for those needing multiple AirTags.
AirTag: A double-edged sword for tracking and privacy
While AirTags offer significant benefits for tracking and locating items, you should know about the limitations and potential privacy concerns associated with their use, including the potential misuse of AirTags for tracking individuals without their consent.
Over eight months, there were over a hundred police reports which included AirTags. Fifty of these cases involve women who suspected they were being stalked by a man in their life. One notable case even involved a Sports Illustrated model who claimed that someone planted an AirTag on her at a bar, which was then used to track her on her way home.
Apple has announced some new features and improvements for AirTags to address privacy and security concerns. These include:
- Reducing the time it takes for an AirTag to alert someone that it is following them from three days to a random interval between eight and 24 hours.
- Adding an Android app that will allow Android users to detect and disable nearby AirTags that are not paired with their own devices.
- Updating the firmware of all AirTags to make them emit a sound when they are separated from their owner for a certain period of time, regardless of whether they are moved or not.
Apple said that these changes are part of its ongoing commitment to protect the privacy and safety of its customers and that it will continue to monitor and evaluate the performance of AirTags.
Best alternatives to Apple AirTag
If you are not part of the Apple ecosystem and need other solutions to track your keys and or other items, there are several options available in the market. Some of the 6 best alternatives to Apple AirTags can be found here. Remember, whether you choose one of these alternatives or an AirTag, each has its unique features and limitations.
Kurt’s key takeaways
So, are you ready to bid farewell to the age-old ‘lost and found’ conundrum?” AirTag sharing in iOS 17 represents a significant milestone in the realm of personal and shared tracking technology. This feature not only enhances the practicality of AirTags but also reflects Apple’s ongoing dedication to innovation, user experience, and privacy.
How do you feel about the AirTag sharing feature? Do you think it will make your life easier or more complicated? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.
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