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Home / Tips and Tricks / 2 ways you can use Apple’s AirTag with an Android phone

2 ways you can use Apple’s AirTag with an Android phone



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iPhone users can find an AirTag quickly and easily, but Android users can help too.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Apple is ready take on Tile with its new AirTag tracker, which can help iPhone owners find lost items like their keys or a backpack. The $ 29 tracker that uses Apple’s Find My Network, is available for order now and will be in stores from April 30. The Find My network is a crowdsourced network created by other Apple users to help track down an AirTag at all times. But what about Android phones?

When Apple has announced the AirTag, 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.

Read more: The first Apple AirTag accessories are here and the prices range from $ 13 to $ 449 (real)






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What to do if you find a lost AirTag

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If you find a lost tag, you can scan it with NFC, even if you have an Android phone.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

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 order an Apple AirTag now, with deliveries from April 30. If in doubt about buying AirTags, be sure to read our full review and learning how to track down your lost items if you have an iPhone.


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