Apple AirTag review
Not an ideal Apple product, mind you. AirTag has room to grow. But it actually encapsulates some critical aspects of Apple's product design philosophy for both good and ill.
Apple has often excelled at objective-built products. Think of Apple's varied "pod" products over time: iPod, HomePod, AirPods. All glorious products built 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: allow you to find your misplaced stuff. And they do that well! Very well, in fact. There are just some design decisions that I question and eventually 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 consider 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 want to get your AirTags engraved, it's 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's clear in everything from the software to the accessories to the precise AirTag itself is that this is a device that's meant to be observed, even when only for a second. Maybe smartly, Apple isn't positioning AirTag as an anti-theft machine however as a loss prevention/recovery one.
Unsurprisingly, the AirTag itself is fairly easy, with the white shell of the tracker fully unadorned save for any engraving you could have achieved during the ordering process (side note: Apple, is there a particular reason why certain common, 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 within the center of the cover.
Now, on a certain level, of course it doesn't. Is Apple really going to place a hole at a single point of their good little circle? No, obviously not (additionally, now you need to buy an accessory, possibly from Apple). On the other hand, it creates a notable problem for one of many primary makes use of 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. But if you want to put these on your keys, which I have to stress, goes to be the reason some individuals 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 different trackers, at the least 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 changing it with a new one very simple.
The AirTag has strong hardware, I think Apple may've achieved more to develop its capabilities. Is this a dealbreaker for you? It is not for me. When I think of the drawbacks offered by the lack of a keyring hole versus the potential tracking power of the Discover My network, after which I think concerning 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 connect AirTags to my keys.
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