Apple AirTag review
Not a perfect Apple product, mind you. AirTag has room to grow. However it really encapsulates some critical points of Apple’s product design philosophy for each good and ill.
Apple has normally excelled at objective-built products. Think of Apple’s various “pod” products through the years: iPod, HomePod, AirPods. All excellent products constructed towards singular purposes (even if the HomePod has now been discontinued, I still contend that it’s an excellent speaker, just as Apple designed it to be).
AirTags are just such a product. Apple designed these little trackers to do one kind of thing: help you find your lost stuff. And they do this well! Very well, in fact. There are just some design selections that I query and finally hope Apple finds a way to address.
At $29, the AirTag worth is right. A little more costly than its Tile Mate or Chipolo One competitors and a little less costly than the Tile Pro, AirTags are priced more competitively than I imagine many (myself included) feared.
You can find AirTags online, and they are now available in Apple Stores, as well as third-party retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. While delivery dates have already slipped into early Might, I count on that Apple will be able to keep up with demand for this particular product. If you wish to get your AirTags engraved, it is best to anticipate some shipping delay from Apple.
If I had to pick one phrase to summarize Apple’s approach to the AirTag’s design, it can be “unobtrusive, however not invisible.” One thing that is clear in everything from the software to the accessories to the precise AirTag itself is that this is a device that is meant to be noticed, even when only for a second. Perhaps smartly, Apple is not positioning AirTag as an anti-theft device however as a loss prevention/recovery one.
Unsurprisingly, the AirTag itself is pretty simple, with the white shell of the tracker fully unadorned save for any engraving you might have finished during the ordering process (side note: Apple, is there a particular reason why sure widespread, useful emoji, like keys, aren’t available for AirTag engraving?). On the flip side, the stainless metal battery cover is etched with writing, letting you know that this is certainly an AirTag, uses Bluetooth LE and Ultra Wideband, and that it’s assembled in China. All of this writing surrounds the matte etched Apple logo within the middle of the cover.
Now, on a certain level, after all it doesn’t. Is Apple really going to place a hole at a single point of their perfect little circle? No, clearly not (also, now you must purchase an accessory, maybe from Apple). On the other hand, it creates a notable situation for one of the main uses of an item tracker, and that’s keeping track of your keys!
Because if you are going to put an AirTag in a bag or purse, then you definitely’re fine just picking up an AirTag. However if you want to put these in your keys, which I have to emphasize, goes to be the reason some individuals consider picking an AirTag up, you additionally must get some kind of carrying accessory that attaches your AirTag to your keys.
That aside, I truly like the design of the AirTag, as much or more than other trackers, not less than as an object. It’s like a slightly over-massive go tile. Plus, the battery compartment is simple to open and close, making removing an old battery and replacing it with a new one very simple.
The AirTag has solid hardware, I think Apple may’ve accomplished more to broaden its capabilities. Is this a dealbreaker for you? It is not for me. Once I think of the drawbacks introduced by the lack of a keyring hole versus the potential tracking energy of the Discover My network, and then I think concerning the comparatively limited networks of competing products, I think it’s definitely worth the trade-off, and thus, having to make another purchase to attach AirTags to my keys.
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