AirTag trackers are designed to work only within the Apple ecosystem, but will communicate with Android devices for certain limited purposes.
From Apple AirTags are loaded with features that make them very useful tracking devices, so Android users may wonder if they will work with their devices too. While Android devices cannot track AirTags, they can communicate with Android devices for certain purposes. Apple showcased AirTag’s precise tracking capabilities during its debut at the Spring Loaded event.
AirTags use a combination of Ultra Wideband (UWB), Bluetooth, and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to identify their locations. With the help of other devices that feature Apple’s U1 UWB chip, any AirTag can generate a map of its exact location. However, what separates it from other trackers is not just its hardware, but also its integration with Apple’s exclusive Find My app. While only certain iPhone models can take advantage of the full capabilities of AirTag, Android devices are out of luck as the Find My app is not available for them, or for any other non-Apple device.
What Apple explains, each AirTag is equipped with a variety of loss prevention measures, including the ability to communicate with devices outside of the Apple ecosystem when necessary. That means that when a lost AirTag reaches an Android user, it can send information that can help them return it to its owner. Of course, this can only happen under certain conditions, as Android users will not yet have access to Apple’s Find My service, preventing them from tracking the AirTag themselves.
How do AirTags work with Android devices?
AirTags can only communicate with Android devices using NFC and it is a very limited connection. Placing and holding the white side of an AirTag against an Android smartphone will send a notification to the phone that users can touch. This leads to a website where users can view information about AirTag, such as its serial number. The owner’s contact information can also be seen here as long as they have set it up and put the AirTag in lost mode.
Lost mode is said to work with “Any device that has NFC”, So in theory, users can use it with NFC-enabled tablets, two-in-one hybrids, or smartphones running on other operating systems. However, other than viewing AirTag information, there are no functionalities available to Android users who may have been waiting to use Apple’s tracking device. However, for Apple users, the uses extend beyond simply locating misplaced items, and AirTags can also be used for some smart alternative purposes.
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