Not an ideal Apple product, mind you. AirTag has room to grow. But it really encapsulates some critical features of Apple's product design philosophy for both good and ill.
Apple has usually excelled at objective-built products. Think of Apple's numerous "pod" products over the years: iPod, HomePod, AirPods. All wonderful products built towards singular functions (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: aid you find your misplaced stuff. And so they do that well! Very well, in fact. There are just some design decisions that I query and finally hope Apple finds a way to address.
At $29, the AirTag value is right. A little more expensive than its Tile Mate or Chipolo One competitors and a little less costly than the Tile Pro, AirTags are priced more competitively than I believe many (myself included) feared.
You can find AirTags online, and they're now available in Apple Stores, as well as third-party retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. While delivery dates have already slipped into early May, I count on that Apple will be able to keep up with demand for this particular product. If you want to get your AirTags engraved, you must expect 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's 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 if only for a second. Maybe smartly, Apple isn't positioning AirTag as an anti-theft device but as a loss prevention/recovery one.
Unsurprisingly, the AirTag itself is pretty easy, with the white shell of the tracker utterly unadorned save for any engraving you may have accomplished throughout 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, makes use of Bluetooth LE and Ultra Wideband, and that it's assembled in China. All of this writing surrounds the matte etched Apple emblem in the center of the cover.
Now, on a sure level, in fact it doesn't. Is Apple really going to put a hole at a single level of their excellent little circle? No, obviously not (also, now you need to purchase an accessory, perhaps from Apple). Then again, it creates a notable concern for one of many major makes use of of an item tracker, and that is 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. But if you want to put these on your keys, which I have to stress, is going to be the reason some folks consider picking an AirTag up, you additionally should get some kind of carrying accessory that attaches your AirTag to your keys.
That aside, I actually like the design of the AirTag, as much or more than other trackers, no less than as an object. It is like a slightly over-giant go tile. Plus, the battery compartment is easy to open and shut, making removing an old battery and replacing it with a new one very simple.
The AirTag has strong hardware, I think Apple might've performed more to increase its capabilities. Is this a dealbreaker for you? It isn't for me. After I think of the drawbacks presented by the lack of a keyring hole versus the potential tracking power of the Find My network, after which I think about the comparatively limited networks of competing products, I think it's definitely worth the trade-off, and thus, having to make one other buy to attach AirTags to my keys.
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