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Apple AirTags can be a lifesaver for those among us that tend to lose things often. In a more literal sense, they can even be a lifesaver by keeping one with your loved ones’ possessions in case they ever go missing. But is there AirTag for Android devices too?
The short answer is that Apple Airtags don’t work directly with Android devices. There are ways to work around this issue. But the most sensible option is to buy a similar device to an AirTag that is compatible with android devices.
Join us as we explore how AirTags work, how to use AirTags with your Android device, and some of the best alternatives on the market today.
This Article Covers:
What Are Apple AirTags?
AirTags transmit Bluetooth signals that link to any nearby devices via Apple’s Find My connections anonymously. Based on the Bluetooth signal strength, the AirTag’s location is calculated. The AirTag’s coordinates are uploaded to Apple’s iCloud servers, which mark it on a map for easy reference.
AirTags can be located using two ways, Precision Finding and Beeping. Sadly, for AirTags, Android doesn’t support most of the features.
How Do Air Tags Work?
Apple’s U1 Chip
The U1 Ultra Wideband chip, a unique Apple microchip, is included inside every AirTag. The precise directional tracking made possible by an AirTag occurs using this incredibly small microprocessor. However, your tracking device must also have a U1 chip to benefit from the U1.
The Apple Watch Series 6 and higher include the U1, which was first seen with the Apple iPhone 11. The U1 is made to locate and follow other U1 chips precisely. There are various applications for this, including daily activities like AirDrop.
M1 Macs and iPads, including the iPad Pro, noticeably lack U1 chips. However, they are all still connected to the Find My Network.
Short-range tracking functions are unavailable on Android devices since no non-Apple devices have a U1 chip. This is because there is a lot of unique Apple software at work whenever you track the U1 using another U1 device.
‘Find My’ Application
It takes more than just U1 hardware for an AirTag to perform as promised by Apple. Apple’s Find My network is integrated into AirTags, and the Find My app is necessary to unlock the data associated with each tag.
The AirTag can only provide its global tracking features with the Find My app and network connectivity. In other words, Android doesn’t support the Find My app. However, nothing prevents you from using Find My via the iCloud website using a web browser on your Android phone.
Most of what the app can do, including tracking and putting your Apple devices in lost mode, can be done from the website. Sadly, AirTags are not yet supported by the Find My web application; an Apple device is still required to use the application.
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Can AirTags Work With Android?
For the intent they’re designed for, no they can’t be used with an Android device.
You can use AirTags with Android by downloading the Tracker Detect official application from the PlayStore. Sadly, Tracker Detect is not a Find My for Android app. It exists due to people’s reasonable privacy worries about trackers like AirTags. It still allows you to make AirTags work with Android but lacks the full functionality.
Users of Apple devices will receive a warning if another person’s AirTag is traveling with them, thanks to a feature added by Apple that prevents criminals and other corrupt people from accessing AirTags to track your location.
Android users are at risk because you need an Apple device to find nearby AirTags. The Tracker Detect application is designed to lessen this. You may scan the surroundings to look for AirTags if you’ve got the application on your Android phone.
There are a few significant restrictions. The scanning must be individually started at the beginning. So, you won’t receive a warning at random. As a result, it’s a somewhat unpleasant solution. Second, when devices leave Bluetooth range, it will only notify AirTags that have been removed from their owners for more than 15 minutes.
This implies that it isn’t very useful if the individual trying to track you remains in the area or if you happen to perform the scan when the tag doesn’t appear, making you feel free of trackers.
AirTags with NFC Readers
An Apple iPhone with a U1 chip must make the most of an AirTag. However, AirTags also have an NFC (Near Field Communication) tag that is almost globally supported. To retrieve information from a lost AirTag, use any NFC application and tap the white side of the device to the back of your phone or another NFC reader location.
But, without access to the Find My Network, the tag information is meaningless. Only the tag’s serial number and the last few digits of the person’s phone number can still be seen by opening the attached web link on the tag.
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AirTag Alternative for Android Users
AirTags are great Bluetooth trackers, but the lack of support on Android means many users are left in the dark. Thankfully, Android AirTag alternative devices allow you to have similar tracking features on an Android device.
Here is a list of some of the best AirTag alternatives.
The Best AirTag for Android Devices: Tile
Tile is a BlueTooth tracking device that is one of the best Android AirTags alternatives on the market. The first Tile device was introduced in 2013, preceding Apple AirTag for eight years.
As such, Tile Mate is among the most used Android AirTag devices. It’s very similar to the Apple AirTag, a 1.25 square-inch device that uses Bluetooth to connect with nearby smartphones. It calculates its location using nearby phones’ GPS data and transmits it to the user’s phone.
The network of Android-using phones in the Tile Mate’s Bluetooth range determines its ability to transmit its whereabouts. Although Tile’s user manuals claim its Bluetooth range is about 250 feet, physical barriers and radio wave disruptions can significantly reduce this range.
Although it cannot be seen simultaneously on two separate phones, the Tile Mate may be linked with an iPhone and made discoverable via the iOS “Find My” app.
Tile provides four tracking tools in total, which include:
- Tile Mate: The basic tracker frequently costs around $25 and is often sold in bundles of two. The tracker includes an incorporated loop for a key ring or clip, unlike the AirTag, so you won’t have to purchase an additional item to attach to something.
- Tile Pro: The Tile Mate has been improved, and the new tracker has a thinner, rectangular shape with the advertised 400-foot Bluetooth range. If your luggage is buried beneath a “baggage mountain,” it also produces a significantly louder phone ringing to assist you in finding it. Typically, a single Tile Pro costs roughly $35, while 2 and 4 packs are offered for less money per Tile.
- Tile Slim: This is a slimmer version of a Tile air tag for Android. It’s thinner. However, it takes up more area and is almost the size of a credit card, meaning it’s designed for wallets or passport holders. Tile Slim Bluetooth trackers cost around $35.
- Tile Sticker: It is smaller than a Tile Mate but is thicker. It has an adhesive back, allowing you to stick it to items like laptops and TV remotes. The adhesive isn’t permanent and won’t protect your devices against theft. However, this AirTag android is great for tracking things in your house. This apple AirTag alternative goes for around $40.
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Another great AirTag for Android is the Chipolo Bluetooth tracker. Like other products in this list, Chipolo uses Bluetooth to connect with a linked phone and share its location. The company’s trackers also offer directions to locate goods, such as Tile’s products, and warnings when anything is out of range.
The Android operating system and the iPhone network are compatible with the tracking cards and discs from Chipolo. Remember that Chipolo trackers are made to operate with either Apple or Android phones, not both, so you’ll need to buy the proper item for your phone.
Whichever version you decide on, you can find them in solo, two, or four packs. Additionally, you can purchase mixed packages containing various Chipolo items.
- Chipolo One: The company’s slim, disc-shaped monitoring device has a keyring hole built right in and is functional with Android. Usually, a single pack costs roughly $25.
- Chipolo One Spot: The Chipolo One’s Apple compatibility allows it to perform the same features as its non-Apple cousin while only operating on the Find My app and the iPhone network. The cost of a single pack is roughly $28.
- The Chipolo Card: The Chipolo Card, a tracking device shaped like a credit or debit card that works with an Android smartphone, is comparable to the Chipolo One. It’s a bit thinner than the Tile Slim option and normally sells for around $30.
- Chipolo Card Spot: Chipolo sells its Chipolo Card Spot device, which enables item tracking using an iPhone and a card-shaped gadget. It uses the Find My Application Network to find objects like the Chipolo One’s Spot. Normally, this one sells for around $35.
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Samsung Galaxy SmartTags
The Samsung Bluetooth tracker may interest Android users with Samsung Galaxy devices. The Samsung Galaxy SmartTag, a direct rival to the AirTag, was also developed by Samsung. Unfortunately, there are few advantages to the industry’s Galaxy SmartTags.
The SmartTag is only functional with Samsung Galaxy smartphones, just like AirTags. This may not be a big deal, given how much of the Android smartphone market Samsung controls.
Like the Tile Pro, this tracker comes with a hole, eliminating the need for extras. It also has an intriguing feature that allows you to operate IoT (Internet of Things) items in your house using the tags.
We discussed that you couldn’t use AirTag devices properly on Android devices, but we showed you some of the best AirTag for Android alternative devices. There are plenty of others on the market, too but the above are the ones we found to be the most reliable. Hopefully, now you can keep all of your valuables safe, whichever device you use the Bluetooth tags with.
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