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Apple’s AirTag released in 2021 to great fanfare as a small tracking device that can be attached to important items, like keys, wallets, and phones. The AirTag is designed to keep these items from getting lost but many customers are still confused on how it works and if it needs internet access to function.
In this article, we will go over whether or not the Apple AirTag needs internet or data to function and how the device functions with both Androids and iPhones.
Table of Contents
Does AirTag Need To Be Connected to the Internet to Function?
Fortunately, Apple’s AirTag does not need an internet connection to work properly. Cellular data or Wi-Fi is not necessary to use this device. This is especially great for those using the AirTag to keep track of their items, like suitcases, while traveling and may not have consistent or strong internet access.
Even in areas with zero internet or data, the AirTag will still function as it normally would. The AirTag will continue to maintain the location tracking of your paired item and will still send notifications if the item is missing or lost regardless of whether or not internet access is available.
How Does AirTag Function Without Internet Access?
Instead of using cellular data or Wi-Fi, the Apple AirTag uses Bluetooth to track items it is paired with. The AirTag also works with the Find My iPhone app to measure precisely how far away you are from the item paired with the AirTag.
The AirTag also uses the network of any nearby Apple devices to help with tracking. Currently, Apple has over 1.5 billion active users worldwide, meaning that the AirTag will be able to mark its location via other nearby Apple users.
Does the Find My iPhone App Require Internet Access?
The Find My iPhone app will still work without cellular data or Wi-Fi connection. This is especially helpful given that the AirTag uses this app for precision tracking.
While the AirTag uses Bluetooth to detect location, the Find My iPhone app uses the Find My iPhone network to locate devices, even if a device has been turned off entirely. The system works similarly to how the AirTag pings its location based on nearby Apple users and their devices.
How Does AirTag Work With iPhones?
The AirTag can be paired with an iPhone the same way AirPods are paired with an iPhone. To pair the AirTag to your device, you must put them close to each other. The iPhone should automatically prompt a connection button.
Once this button is pressed, the AirTag will be connected. The Find My iPhone app will automatically prompt steps to register the AirTag to your Apple ID. It will also allow you to name your tagged item, such as “my keys” or “my bag”.
The AirTag can be found in the Find My iPhone app under the Items section. It will also display its current or last known location on a map. You can now attach the AirTag to your desired item that you want to keep track of.
How Does AirTag Work With Other Apple Products?
If you use an iPod Touch or iPad, pairing with the AirTag will still work the same way. As long as the device is a compatible Apple product with the Find My iPhone app, pairing the AirTag will work the same way.
The connecting process in the Find My iPhone app will proceed the same way as it would when pairing an AirTag to an iPhone. You will also be able to name your tagged item during the pairing process.
The Find My iPhone app will function the same way on other Apple devices, meaning that the AirTag will still appear under the Items section. The current or last known location will also be displayed on a map in the same way as it would on an iPhone. Once this process is completed, you can physically attach the AirTag to the item you want to track.
What Apple Devices Are Compatible With AirTag?
The AirTag only works with Apple devices running on iOS 14.5 or later. People who want to use an AirTag also need an Apple ID, as signing into an iCloud account is required for usage.
The AirTag also requires using the Find My iPhone app, which is usually automatically installed on all Apple devices. If you have removed the app previously, it can be easily reinstalled back onto any Apple device of your choosing.
Apple devices that are currently compatible with AirTag include the following:
- iPhone SE (6S or later)
- iPod Touch (7th generation or later)
- iPad Pro (5th generation or later)
- iPad Air (2nd generation or later)
- iPad Mini (4th generation or later)
Will The AirTag Work With Android Phones?
At this time, Apple’s AirTag unfortunately only works with Apple products. However, the AirTag is compatible with other Apple items beyond just the iPhone, such as iPads and the iPod Touch. It is possible for people who own Android phones to still use an AirTag on any other Apple devices they may have.
It is possible to use an Apple AirTag without any internet connection. Users can connect an AirTag to many Apple devices, including an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. They must pair an AirTag to their desired device, go through the setup process, and physically connect the AirTag to their desired item.
Since the AirTag functions off of Bluetooth and in tandem with the Find My iPhone app, which also does not require any form of internet connection to work, the AirTag is a great way to track important options regardless of where you are or if you have internet access.