April 13, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Apple AirTag keeps track of keys and wallets. Can it keep track of kids?

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – With Halloween approaching, there are many parents who’d like to be able to track their kids as they trick-or-treat in the neighborhood.

For older kids, that’s pretty easy as long as they have a smartphone. Parents may want to give their child an iPhone for that night, but for those who are still hesitant to let their kid have or use a smartphone, another Apple device may be the answer.

Apple released its AirTags earlier this year. The small button not much bigger than a quarter has a chip inside that connects to Bluetooth. It’s primarily to help people locate lost keys, a wallet, or a purse, but it can also be used to help locate or track someone who’s carrying the AirTag.

Here’s how those AirTags work:

You pair it with your phone by simply placing it nearby. The iPhone will “see” the AirTag and ask if you want to pair it.

You’ll be given a chance to give it a name or accept one of the default labels such as “keys,” “backpack,” “purse,” and a few others.

The AirTag connects to any Apple device over Bluetooth provided that another device, such as an iPhone or iPad has “Find My” turned on in location settings. Most iPhone users have “Find My” turned on because they don’t want to misplace their phones.

It’s similar to how Tile Trackers work by connecting to other Tile Trackers. The difference is that there are far more iPhones than Tile Trackers so your chances of finding a phone or AirTag are greater.

If the AirTag your child is carrying comes close to another iPhone, the other iPhone will ping your AirTag and the location will show up on a map for the phone that the AirTag is paired with.

I tried it out with my child who walked down the street with the AirTag in his pocket. I was able to see where he was walking on a map and could zoom in close enough to see when he stopped at a mailbox or walked up a neighbor’s driveway.

You can also make the AirTag play a sound and get step-by-step directions to wherever it is.

The AirTags are $29 but you’ll probably need to buy something that holds it if you want to attach the AirTag to anything. Otherwise, you can just stow it away in a backpack or in your child’s pocket for Halloween night.

For all of its positives, there are some security and privacy concerns with AirTags. Suppose someone wants to track you, they can hide an AirTag in your car, bike, or anything else you carry with you.

There have been concerns that ex-spouses, stalkers, and parents of kids in a custody dispute could use AirTags to harass someone. Apple has added safeguards to AirTags to prevent this type of thing. I’ll look at those safeguards and how to protect yourself next time.

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