AirTag can be a useful way to track a bicycle if it lost or stolen, but there are some points to be aware of before buying Apple’s item tracker.
There are many reasons to consider picking up an AirTag, including as a way to track a bicycle when lost or stolen. However, there are some points to be aware of before buying Apple’s item tracker and especially for purposes like this. For starters, an AirTag is not a foolproof solution to finding something when lost and its limitations are by design. Here’s what you need to know.
AirTag is a new tracker from Apple that can be attached to most things, allowing the user to track those items and find them again. One of its major selling points is that it doesn’t solely rely on the usual communication technologies that other trackers do, thanks to the AirTag’s ultra-wideband support. This alone makes it a better option for many and especially when it comes to out-of-range tracking, but that’s only as long as the user is already tied to Apple’s ecosystem.
When it comes to bikes specifically, there’s nothing stopping a bicycle owner from using an AirTag. The main issue is going to be how the AirTag physically attaches to the bike in the first place, but this is where a bike mount can help. For example, Moment is a already a popular option for smartphone-related accessories, providing creators with products that can prove useful when on the road. Since the launch of AirTag, the company has also released a number of specific mounts to house the trackers. While they are not purpose-designed for a bicycle, they can just as easily be attached to one as as any other surface. Furthermore, Moment offers more than one type, so riders should be able to find one to suit their individual bicycle needs.
Before Buying An AirTag For A Bike
In principle, an AirTag will allow the user to identify a bicycle’s current location and hopefully retrieve it again. Furthermore, through the use of ultra-wideband and Apple’s Precision Finding feature, the bike can be located with even greater accuracy and even when outside the typical range of Bluetooth or NFC. However, Precision Finding is only compatible with newer iPhone models that also come equipped with Apple’s UI chip. Therefore, whether a cyclist will benefit from the ultra-wideband support and advanced tracking will depend on their current iPhone.
If the goal is to find a bicycle after it has been stolen, then hiding the AirTag from immediate view is going to be important. This can be done by simply mounting the tracker in a place where it is harder to see, such as under the seat. However, Apple introduced a number of anti-stalking features with AirTag and some of these may impact its ability to remain hidden. For example, one of these measures alerts a person when an AirTag has been traveling with them for a number of days. The idea is that someone else cannot plant an AirTag in someone’s bag without them eventually becoming aware of it. In terms of a bicycle, this could result in a thief being alerted that an AirTag is nearby. Of course, this is reliant on the thief having a compatible Apple device, such as an iPhone, but it is still something to be aware of. Even without an iPhone, the AirTag may still reveal its presence as, once away from the owner for an extended period of time, the tracker will sound an alert to those nearby, similar to how Tile’s and other trackers work.
Another area of concern is the tracking abilities in general. Although Precision Finding and ultra-wideband support allows AirTag owners to find their belongings, it is dependent on Apple’s Find My network. While this should mean greater network support than what Tile and others offer, it is still limited to Apple’s network. If the bicycle ends up in a remote location, or one where there are no Apple devices nearby to ping, then finding the bicycle again will largely be impossible when out of range of Bluetooth and NFC.
Overall, using Apple’s item tracker as a way to prevent bicycle loss or theft is a good idea and certainly could prove useful. However, AirTag is not without its limitations and cyclists will want to keep them in mind before investing in an AirTag specifically for their bicycle.
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