Spoiler alert, I found the AirTag range quite shocking the first time I found out about it.
In this post, we’ll explore the range of AirTags and how it might affect your tracking needs.
The Apple AirTag primarily relies on Bluetooth technology for tracking within close range. When connected to your iOS device via Bluetooth, you can track the AirTag within a range of approximately 100-200 feet (30-60 meters) depending on environmental factors.
What is the AirTag range?
When an AirTag is out of Bluetooth range, it can still be located through the Find My network. This network utilizes other Apple devices, such as iPhones, iPads, and Macs, that are connected to the internet to help locate the AirTag. The Find My network extends the tracking range significantly, allowing you to locate your AirTag even when it’s far beyond the typical Bluetooth range.
While the 100-meter range is indeed impressive, it’s important to note that real-world conditions can impact this range.
Obstacles like walls, furniture, and other objects can absorb or reflect Bluetooth signals, potentially reducing the effective range.
In crowded or densely built environments, interference from other wireless devices may also play a role in limiting the range.
Nonetheless, for most everyday scenarios, Airtags provide a robust and reliable means of locating your possessions with their Bluetooth capabilities.
Enhanced range through the Apple ecosystem
One unique feature that sets Apple Airtags apart is their ability to leverage the vast network of Apple devices.
Even if your Airtag goes beyond the 100-meter Bluetooth range of your device, it can still be located through the Apple ecosystem.
This means that other Apple users’ devices, like iPhones, iPads, or Macs, can anonymously relay the Airtag’s location to you. This network effect can substantially extend the effective range of Airtags, making them even more powerful tools for keeping track of your valuables.
Can you track AirTag out of range?
You can track an Apple Airtag even when it’s out of your device’s Bluetooth range, thanks to a feature called the “Find My Network.” This network relies on the help of other Apple devices in the vicinity to locate your Airtag.
Here’s how it works:
- Bluetooth Range: When your Airtag is within the Bluetooth range of your Apple device (approximately 100 meters or 328 feet in optimal conditions), you can establish a direct connection and track its location with precision using the Find My app.
- Out of Bluetooth Range: If your Airtag goes out of Bluetooth range, it can still communicate with nearby Apple devices that are part of the Find My Network. These devices can securely and anonymously relay the Airtag’s location information to the cloud.
- Location Updates: When another Apple user’s device comes into proximity with your Airtag, it can detect and communicate with it if the Airtag is marked as “lost” in the Find My app. The location of your Airtag is then updated on your Find My app, helping you track its whereabouts, even if it’s far beyond the initial Bluetooth range.
You cannot track Apple Airtags from miles away.
While Airtags have an impressive Bluetooth range in optimal conditions, they are not designed for long-distance tracking. The Find My Network, which allows you to locate Airtags out of Bluetooth range, relies on other nearby Apple devices to relay their location information to the cloud. This means that the effective range is still limited to areas where there is a significant concentration of Apple devices.
Tracking Airtags from miles away is not possible through standard Bluetooth or the Find My Network. These devices are primarily intended for tracking items within relatively close proximity. If an Airtag is far beyond the reach of any Apple devices, it may not be locatable using this technology.
If you are still interested in using Apple AirTag for long-distance tracking, check out this article where we explain another possible way to do it.
How Does Precision Finding Work?
Precision Finding is a remarkable feature of Apple AirTags that takes tracking to the next level. It harnesses a combination of advanced technologies to help you pinpoint the exact location of your AirTag, even when it’s out of your immediate reach.
Here’s how Precision Finding works:
- Ultra-Wideband (UWB) Technology: Apple Airtags are equipped with UWB technology, which stands for Ultra-Wideband. This technology enables your Apple device, such as an iPhone, to communicate with the Airtag with remarkable accuracy. UWB uses short-range, high-frequency radio waves to measure the distance between your device and the Airtag with exceptional precision.
- Augmented Reality (AR): When you activate Precision Finding in the Find My app, your iPhone uses AR technology to overlay visual and auditory cues on your device’s screen. This creates an interactive and intuitive experience for tracking your Airtag. You’ll see a virtual arrow and a visual guide on your screen, leading you directly to the Airtag’s location.
- Distance and Directional Feedback: As you move closer to the Airtag, the visual and auditory cues become more pronounced. The arrow on your screen becomes larger, and the sound feedback becomes more intense, helping you determine the precise direction and distance to your Airtag.
- Integration with Maps: Precision Finding also integrates with Apple Maps, providing a bird’s-eye view of your surroundings. This view can further assist you in navigating to your Airtag’s location with accuracy.
Imagine you’ve misplaced your Airtag-tagged keys in your home. With Precision Finding, you can follow the on-screen cues and audio feedback to walk directly to the spot where your keys are hidden, even if they’re tucked away under a sofa or inside a drawer.
Comparing Apple Airtag range to competitors
Here’s a comparison of Apple Airtags with competitors in a table format:
|Competitors (e.g., Tile, Samsung SmartTag)
|Up to approximately 100 meters (328 feet) in optimal conditions
|Typically up to 30 to 50 meters (98 to 164 feet) in optimal conditions
|Seamlessly integrated with the Apple ecosystem, utilizing a vast network of Apple devices
|May have their own ecosystems but may not be as extensive or interconnected
|Offers Precision Finding with Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology for precise location tracking
|May not offer similar precision in location tracking
|May have unique features such as geofencing, replaceable batteries, and compatibility with multiple smartphone platforms
|Varies by brand and model, offering different additional features
Please note that the specific features and capabilities of competitors may vary, and new devices with improved features may be introduced over time. Your choice between Apple Airtags and competitors should be based on your individual preferences and requirements.