When, I assumed Android phones couldn’t interact with the tile-like tracker at all.
Well, it turns out I was wrong. While you can’t link an AirTag to an Android device, Apple’s walled garden won’t stop Android owners from returning a lost AirTag. That means if you have an Android phone and find someone’s keys or hear a beeping AirTag in a backpack, you can play a part in giving it back to the owner. Here’s how.
What to do if you find a lost AirTag
Each AirTag uses random Bluetooth IDs to communicate anonymously with Apple devices in the background to accurately locate the tiny tracker – all without anyone involved knowing it’s even happening. However, the same cannot be said about Android phones. Unless Apple decides to release a Find My app on the Play Store, you’ll need to do a little extra work if you find a misplaced tag.
If you have an Android phone and you happen to find a lost set of keys, a backpack, or even a bike with an AirTag attached, you can scan the little tracker as long as your phone has the ability to read NFC tags.
Each AirTag has an NFC chip in it, and that chip is readable by Android phones and iPhones. So as long as your Android phone is equipped with NFC (if you can pay contactless, you have NFC), all you have to do is read the AirTag by placing it on the back of your phone.
Once the tag is scanned, an alert will appear on your screen with a web link, or your phone’s browser will automatically open an information page about the tag. If it is marked as lost, you will see instructions on how to contact the rightful owner and get the item back. Pretty easy right?
What to do if you find any AirTag
Apple has put a lot of thought and work into eliminating the use of AirTags as hidden tracking devices – you can only use them to track items, not people or pets. As such, an AirTag that detects driving away from its owner will start beeping after an extended period of time. Right now, it takes three days for the AirTag to beep, but Apple plans to adjust that amount of time based on feedback after AirTag is officially launched.
So what do you do when you find an AirTag in your car or backpack? Start scanning using your phone’s NFC capability. If it is marked as lost, you will see the owner’s details and how to contact them. If it is not marked as lost, you will be guided through the process of removing the battery from the AirTag to turn it off.
You can, with deliveries from April 30. If in doubt about buying AirTags, be sure to read and learning .