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Apple Air Tags?

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Apple Air Tags?

Old 29th Jun 2022, 01:36
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Apple Air Tags?

Has anyone had any experiences (good, bad, useless) with these re keeping an eye on your checked luggage?

I try to avoid checking luggage at all but with a few longer trips approaching thought it would be interesting to keep an eye on them in the new era of luggage growing legs.

Last edited by PoppaJo; 29th Jun 2022 at 13:17.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 02:05
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A news story this week told of a man whose lost bag sat in Melbourne terminal for a week - the tag let him know it was in the country, but after a few days with nobody delivering it, he went to the airport. Using the finder, he convinced the person in charge to let him into the baggage area, and there he followed the needle and found his bag. the "workers" didn't give a stuff.

Last edited by Ascend Charlie; 29th Jun 2022 at 07:21.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 06:05
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This guy's bag was lost and he found it by going to the airport, then to the baggage handler's office where

he found it lying around using the Airtag. It still had the barcode tag on it, no-one seemed bothered to scan

it and return it to him.


Last edited by TWT; 29th Jun 2022 at 06:19.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 06:43
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A mte recently flew Brisbane to Paris. His bags (but not his wife's) didn't arrive with him, but he was able to see that they were in Singapore. Thge airline didn't tell him where they were or when they would be delivered, but they arrived on his doorstep a few days later. At least he knew wher they were.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 08:03
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I use them all the time. Very useful and I wouldn't travel without them now. I've had a bag not make a few flights this year. I can see where the bag is and if it's not where I am, head straight to the counter and start the process. It does stop the "oh your bag may be still be on X" "No it isn't, this is LHR, the bag's in JFK".
Also when waiting for the bag to be dropped off, you can see where it is with the courier and go about your business until it's nearby.

Very useful for finding keys etc.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 08:16
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Suggestion on Nextdoor locally that people should fit them to their cats, dogs, budgies, kids, etc...

See there is an Android equivalent for those of us who get the pip from all things malus domestica...
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 08:46
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See there is an Android equivalent
Care to tell us what it is? - all the ones I have found are talking about Bluetooth and a range of a few hundred feet, which is not much help if your luggage is in another country.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 08:59
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UniFoxOs

Apple AirTags only have a Bluetooth chip in them, the same as the Android ones.
They use nearby Apple devices to forward the encrypted ID data from the individual
AirTag to Apple's servers. They don't have GPS chips. The nearby Apple device
( e.g. iPhone) needs to have Bluetooth and Location enabled.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 09:00
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Weren't the android tags called 'Tiles' or something similar ? I stand to be corrected, but isn't the bluetooth used when close (10m or less) and the network of different separate phones signed up to the service for the rest of the finding/pinpointing ? Whichever system, it's a great way to keep track of valuable items. As always, the bad side is that they can be abused to track people, though Apple seems to have partially addressed that. I heard that with animals, especially dogs the tag needs to be in a 'bullet-proof' container that won't come away from their collar, as is a dog's want, a trip through the bushes/bracken will dislodge most attached gizmo's.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 09:41
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For android i use "Tile". Seems to work just fine. This technology uses "Low energy bluetooth" ... i dont know how it works, but range is 120m / 400ft.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 10:59
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The network of all things Apple is quite substantial and therefore you'll see a pretty good coverage of those AirTags, even though the Bluetooth range is quite small. I understand that competetive products use a similar technology but only Android phones with the correct app on it will take part in this network, so you may not get similar coverage everywhere.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 11:29
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Many thanks for the explanations - I had been imagining a tag with GPS and mobile phone connectivity, seems the reality is somewhat more complicated. Presumably if your baggage has fallen off the ground transport in some remote corner of the airfield (*) and there's nobody around with a suitable phone then you can't find it - or is there a "last known location" facility?

* I have seen this happen, driver cornering to quickly with badly stacked cases.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 12:03
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If air tags can only use iOS device as relays, then performance must vary a lot depending on location. In many countries, iphones are in a very small minority - in Kenya less than 10% of mobile devices are iOS and they must be very concentrated in a couple of big urban areas.

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Old 29th Jun 2022, 12:47
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Dog tracking is quite easy as there are plenty of active GPS trackers you can put on your dog. Cats being smaller present a bit of a problem though and the solution I use it the Tabcat

and ... it's British !

A small disc on their collar and a credit card sized device to point in various directions with a series of LEDs that light up to show when the direction is correct and the distance is close. I wouldn't be without it

[warning aviation content]

It can take a little getting used to as well because your 'target' might be moving or you might pick up a reflected signal. Reminds me of a book I read once about night fighters protecting Britain in WWII and how the operators had to learn how to interpret the signal they were getting from their AI (Airborne Interception) unit

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Old 29th Jun 2022, 13:13
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I had 2 expensive GPS trackers for my cat. He lost both of them within a few days whilst I was left still paying the year's subscription to the end. A major flaw in the design was the "breakaway" separated the battery from the TX. Who the hell designed that? So after a rethink I purchased an Apple AirTag for him. Absolutely useless in the extreme! I live in the countryside. As soon as he walked more than 100m from my router it was game over. No return. Even when there was a return it was hopelessly inaccurate. It would indicate a position 50m wrong! What use is that? I gave up with it, threw it into the boot of the car just so if my car ever got stolen and was left in the vicinity of many Iphone users I may be able to trace it to the nearest county!!!

Sue. I have just looked at Tabcat. It's useless. A range of 120m. That means as long as my buddy stays within my garden I should find him. But he doesn't. He has been known to venture 3kms from home! Nowadays it's not so extreme but I am sure he ventures 500m at least daily! He just loves the "Great Outdoors."

Last edited by happyjack; 29th Jun 2022 at 13:25.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 13:55
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Rob is that you?

Yes that's a limitation, but it's one that's not a problem for us living in suburbia. I have seen actual GPS trackers, but they're a little too big for my guys IMO


Funnily enough soon after I first got them, the cat walked in without his collar on and I thought "Oh no, there goes twenty five dollars - I should charge him for it"

Then I thought for a moment . . .

"He's lost his TRACKER. I wonder if . . ."

. . . and yes I found it close by. That's actually happened a few times now


btw, that sounds like quite a cat!
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 14:19
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It is really annoying as I see this as a really easy problem to solve surely? My TomTom cost 100 GBP, is supremely accurate and has no subscription. It also has a huge database loaded to it. Why is there no miniature reduced version without the database? GPS is surely the way to go, not trying to get a fix from multiple short range Iphone users? If you live in a city maybe Airtags can work for you? I like the 1 year battery so MX free. But outside of the city it fails miserably.
"Quite a cat?" Yes I so priviledged to be working salary free for the Master of the House where I even get my own room.... occasionally!
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 14:30
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Originally Posted by happyjack View Post
It is really annoying as I see this as a really easy problem to solve surely? My TomTom cost 100 GBP, is supremely accurate and has no subscription. It also has a huge database loaded to it. Why is there no miniature reduced version without the database? GPS is surely the way to go, not trying to get a fix from multiple short range Iphone users? If you live in a city maybe Airtags can work for you? I like the 1 year battery so MX free. But outside of the city it fails miserably.
"Quite a cat?" Yes I so priviledged to be working salary free for the Master of the House where I even get my own room.... occasionally!
Such things exist. The problem is power consumption of GPS and cost and power consumption of giving a device its own SIM to access the mobile network. That makes them bulky and expensive. The airtag is an elegant way of avoiding these costs that works well under many circumstances.
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 15:43
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Google ‘AirTag abuse’
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Old 29th Jun 2022, 15:43
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Chap round here flies birds of prey. These are fitted up with a small transmitter and he tracks them with a DF antenna - a bit like a small TV aerial. Such a thing could be fitted to a cat I would have thought. Two bearings from either end of your road?
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