Apple announces major AirTag updates amidst tracking scrutiny

The news: After nearly a year of AirTag being available for purchase, Apple has more seriously responded to broad concerns about tracking and privacy.

Here’s the details from the press release…

  • As seen above, there will be a more stern privacy warning when setting up AirTag for the first time
  • When an unknown pair of AirPods has been found near you, a “Unknown Accessory Detected” alert would previously show up…now AirPods will be mentioned specifically
  • Updated support documentation is available now on Apple’s website
  • Precision Finding, which works on iPhone 11/12/13, will now work to find AirTags that could be tracking you (so that you can locate the threat as quickly as possible)
  • An unwanted AirTag near you that is emitting sound to notify you of its presence will now show an alert on your display, as well (in case the speaker has been tampered with)
  • Apple is updating their unwanted tracking alert logic to notify users even sooner if there is an AirTag following them
  • The sound emitted from AirTag is being tuned so that the loudest tones are even louder

Our take: Wow. This is incredibly comprehensive and I’m honestly impressed. I see what Apple waited so long to formally reply to these AirTag concerns: they’ve been working on all of this. I think they nailed it and there’s no doubt in my mind that this will have a positive effect against bad actors.

Apple releases new limited edition AirTags and Beats Studio Buds

The news: The final Apple products of 2021 have just dropped…but they’re only available in Japan or China.

  • A new AirTag featuring a custom year of the tiger engraving is out now in Japan to celebrate the Japanese New Year…alongside a new promotion where you get a gift card when you buy select products
  • There are also new Beats Studio Buds releasing on January 1 that get a fresh coat of paint with tiger-inspired graphics to celebrate the Lunar New Year

Our take: Some special products to commemorate a special time of the year in Asia. I think it’s dope that Apple periodically drops custom, limited-edition stuff like this in different counties.

Apple releases new colors for leather AirTag accessories

The news: Just months after the launch of AirTag, Apple has introduced a slew of new colors for their Leather Loop and Key Ring accessories.

  • The Leather Loop adds Baltic Blue, California Poppy and Forest Green to the existing Saddle Brown and (PRODUCT)RED colors
  • Leather Key Ring gets California Poppy and Forest Green on top of the already released Baltic Blue, Saddle Brown and (PRODUCT)RED options
  • The products are available for $39 and $35 respectively at

Our take: Is California Poppy the best-looking color ever? Very possibly. Some nice color upgrades for the best AirTag accessories today, but the rumored magnetic key ring accessory is still MIA…

AirTag magnetic keychain accessory may be ‘on the way’

The rumor: Apple is working on additional accessories for AirTag, according to Jon Prosser (77.8% accurate) on the Genius Bar podcast.

  • According to Prosser, a new magnetic keychain accessory is “on the way…” but no specific launch timeframe was mentioned
  • Apple currently sells a few AirTag accessories including a polyurethane and leather loop and leather keychain attachment, on top of a number of Hermès offerings

Our take: Apple’s first-party accessories for AirTag felt quite limited at launch, so it seems reasonable that at least something else is coming. I’d love to a magnetic accessory where AirTag just snaps inside.

AirTag shown in first hands-on photos and videos (roundup)

The news: Ahead of pre-orders on Friday, the first photos and videos of Apple’s AirTag have been published by members of the media.

  • AirTag, which is incredibly tiny, seems to be a better option for finding things than something like a Tile due to the UWB capabilities with Precision Finding (a beautiful UI, might I add)
  • Many reviewers also noted how private these feel, with anti-human-tracking features built-in and location data not stored on the AirTag itself
  • They seem to get scratched easily, however: a number of media reported scratches and scuffs after just a few hours of usage…which is disappointing considering that most AirTags are likely to get banged around
  • Photos and videos in this article were provided by Andru Edwards, CNET, Marques Brownlee, Mashable, Sam Sheffer, TechCrunch and The Verge



Apple announces $29 AirTag with custom emoji and new accessories

The news: The long awaited Apple AirTag was just announced at Apple’s April 20 event.

  • Precision finding allows you to more accurately locate your lost items
  • The cost is $29 for one AirTags or $99 for 4
  • You can order AirTag this Friday, and it ships on April 30

Apple updates Find My app, promotes 3rd-party tile tracker with AirTags MIA

The news: A new version of Find My is out now for devices running iOS 14.3 or later, offering new functionality for 3rd-party accessories and devices.

  • Apple has formally announced the Find My network, a “crowdsourced network of hundreds of millions of Apple devices that use Bluetooth wireless technology to detect missing devices or items nearby, and report their approximate location back to the owner”
  • The frist “Works with Apple Find My” products include Belkin’s SOUNDFORM Freedom earbuds, Chipolo’s ONE Spot tracker and VanMoof’s new S3 and X3 e-bikes

Our take: This is the strangest press release from Apple yet. We know they’ve been working on AirTags, an tile-like tracker, and updated AirPods. But in their big unveil for the Find My network…Apple instead promoted 3rd-party earbuds from Belkin and an item finder from Chipolo (who I’ve never heard of). Why would Apple take this opportunity to specifically promote 3rd-party accessories instead of unveiling their own? It seems to suggest AirTags wouldn’t be coming soon.

But then there’s this:

Today Apple is also announcing a draft specification for chipset manufacturers that will be released later this spring. With this, third-party device makers will be able to take advantage of Ultra Wideband technology in U1-equipped Apple devices, creating a more precise, directionally aware experience when nearby.

We also know that AirTags have a U1 chip inside. And Apple says those U1 specs for 3rd-party manufacturers are coming later this spring. This strongly suggests that AirTags are coming in spring…Apple just doesn’t want another company to beat them to the punch with U1 functionality inside.

If the launch of AirTags wasn’t clear before, this adds even more fuel to the fire.

Apple’s first 2021 releases may include new tablet, accessory and wearable products

The rumors: Apple’s April product releases will include a tablet, wearable and accessory, according to Max Weinbach (67.1% accurate).

  • Tablet: a new iPad Pro (with Mini-LED on the 12.9-inch, 5G, upgraded cameras and Thunderbolt support)
  • Wearable: “likely new seasonal Apple Watch bands” (new Solo Loop colors)
  • Accessory: AirTags, Apple’s long-awaited tracking accessory

Our take: Only new info here is about the Apple Watch bands, which Apple does just about every year. Wouldn’t it be wild if the new watch band was an indigo color?

AirTags dimensions leaked (they’re tiny), estimated to cost $39

The rumor: The sizing and potential pricing for AirTags has been leaked by details for AirT Max Weinbach (67.1% accurate, via EAP).

  • The exact dimensions may be 32mm x 32mm x 6mm (see a comparison to a penny here)
  • A retail source, who Weinbach cites, suggests AirTags could retail for $39 each

Our take: AirTags are smaller than I thought they would be. Like they’re really small. Also, I’ll be surprised if they are only $39 per tag…

Ahead of Apple’s March 23 event, 4 new products are reportedly ready to ship

The rumor: Ahead of a rumored March 23 event, Jon Prosser (78.2% accurate) has shared a number of products that could launch at any time.

  • Here’s what Prosser says is ready: Apple TV, new AirPods, AirTags and iPad Pro
  • This being said, it’s unlikely that we’ll see all of this in March alone

Our take: I think AirTags and a new iPad Pro will be announced on March 23 at an Apple event, with the possibility that an updated Apple TV makes an appearance, as well. Don’t think new AirPods are coming until April/May.

AirTags reportedly on schedule to launch in March

The rumor: Apple may finally be releasing AirTags in just around a month, according to Jon Prosser (79.2% accurate).

  • AirTags are currently expected at a to-be-announced event in March
  • A new iPad Pro and new Macs are also rumored to be dropping at the special event

Our take: While I’m skeptical of any release for AirTags at this point, Apple has pushed these back long enough and with vaccine distribution beginning to ramp up, it seems like an okay time to launch the product. But I don’t see travel broadly going back to normal levels for a number of months still.