After years of rumours, Apple AirTags are finally here! They aim to help you find lost things – they can use their Bluetooth connection to piggyback on other people's iPhones, and let you know where they've been detected, even if you and your iPhone are nowhere nearby.
And if you have an iPhone 11 or iPhone 12 (or their pro versions), when you're within range you can actually follow an on-screen arrow with distance given, making them easy to locate with absolute precision.
The network of a billion iOS devices that can pick them up, along with precision hunting when you're nearby, makes them a cut above most equivalent trackers. But the actual devices are just simple discs – you'll often want some kind of accessory in order to connect them to something you're trying not to lose.
Apple makes a few, and has enlisted Belkin and Hermès too… but they're all basically keyfobs or loops to hang on bags/luggage. There are loads of other possibilities here! So here's what we'd like to see available for AirTags… at least, until we think of more.
AirTag pet collars
With big dogs, people are already trialling using the keyring attachments to just hook onto collars. But for smaller dogs or cats, that's bulkier than is ideal. We'd like to see a holder for the AirTags integrated into the collar loop itself, keeping it as slimline as possible – this is especially good for cats wriggling through smalls gaps and things.
Given that an AirTag doesn't include GPS (and that Apple specifically has said pet tracking is not the intention), why do we want this? Because it could still be transformative for lost pets in cities. If your pet wanders into the countryside, it won't help much, but in a built-up area there'll be iPhones around. If your cat gets stuck in a garage or your dog breaks out and gets lost in the next neighbourhood, you could still locate them.
AirTag on bikes
Apple's AirTag setup screen suggests that tracking your bike is something that might be helpful, but none of the current accessories are great for actually attaching it to one. I have two ideas about that: 1) a holder that bolts to the frame using a security screw; 2) a bell with a hidden chamber underneath it.
The first is the obvious one – someone should make a two-piece mount that fits onto the frame of your bike, with a space to hold the AirTag. And it's held in place with a non-standard screw type, much like car wheels tend to have, or Ring Video Doorbells.
The second is weirder, but more convenient in some cases. I just bought a bike bell that attaches with rubber bands, and it has quite a chunky base. There could easily be a hollow section underneath the bell where an AirTag goes, and people wouldn't know to look for it. AirTags aren't designed for theft recovery, but they potentially could help with it, as long as they're not removed right away. Both of these options would help with that, as well as just helping you find where you parked your bike.
AirTag wallets and purses
If you have a wallet or purse with a coin section, you can just pop your AirTag in there, though it's a little in the way. And the thickness of AirTag can be a bit much for a lot of wallets, especially if you like to keep it minimal. This includes me – I literally cannot fit an AirTag in my wallet, and yet it's one of things I'd like to lose the least. Top 5, easily!
But a purse or wallet designed with AirTag in mind, so the thickness is properly accommodated, and there are no new lumps? I'd buy one of those tomorrow and ditch this stupid thin one.
AirTag decals and pouches
AirTags look nice enough, and the etching is useful so that you can tell the damn things apart, but it's pretty basic overall. I want to see three things, and the first is decal stickers you can use to decorate an AirTag you use anywhere. Characters, patterns, custom prints… whatever! Nice and easy.
Second is rubbery AirTag protective pouches, also with nice patterns and things on. Think: the outside of a Babybel. But you can slip the AirTag in and out. These would be protective from scuffs for when you're keeping AirTag in a bag or pocket where it might get scuffed, or maybe you just have one because it'd be an inexpensive cool look for AirTag – and it might have a little loop for a chain, making it easy to attach to anything.
And finally, I want to see little soft pouches for AirTags, to make sure that if you keep one in your glasses case, the metal side doesn't cause any damage. Remember iPod socks? It's time for AirTag socks…