The Intriguing World of Apple’s AirTag
Apple’s AirTag is a nifty little device designed to help you keep track of your belongings. Whether it’s your keys, wallet, or backpack, the AirTag can help you locate them using the Find My app on your iPhone. But what if you want to share the tracking responsibility with someone else? Can two phones track one AirTag simultaneously? In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of AirTag tracking and explore whether it’s possible for multiple devices to monitor the same AirTag.
Understanding the Basics of AirTag
What is an AirTag?
Before we dive into the multi-device tracking capabilities, let’s start with the basics. An AirTag is a small, coin-shaped device that utilizes Apple’s Find My network to help you locate lost items. It pairs with your iPhone or other Apple devices, making it an excellent tool for keeping tabs on your belongings.
How Does an AirTag Work?
An AirTag works by emitting Bluetooth signals that can be picked up by nearby Apple devices. When you attach an AirTag to an item, it becomes a part of your Apple ecosystem. If you lose that item, you can use the Find My app to locate it on a map. But here’s the question: Can two or more Apple devices share this tracking information?
The Single Device Tracking Paradigm
Traditional Use of One Device
Typically, when you set up an AirTag, it’s associated with a single Apple device, like your iPhone. This means that the tracking information is confined to that device. You can use the Find My app on your iPhone to pinpoint the AirTag’s location.
Sharing AirTag with Family
Apple does provide an option to share AirTag tracking with family members through the Family Sharing feature. However, this doesn’t involve simultaneous tracking from multiple devices. Instead, it allows family members to receive notifications about the AirTag’s location and contribute to the search.
The Question of Simultaneous Tracking
Can Two iPhones Simultaneously Track One AirTag?
Here’s the crux of the matter: Can two iPhones (or other Apple devices) simultaneously track the same AirTag? The short answer is no, but let’s break down why.
The Limitations of AirTag Tracking
AirTag’s Exclusive Connection
Each AirTag is designed to have an exclusive connection with a single Apple device. This means that it can only communicate with one device at a time. When it’s connected to one device, it won’t respond to tracking requests from any other device.
Privacy and Security Concerns
Apple prioritizes user privacy and security, and this extends to AirTag tracking. If multiple devices could track one AirTag simultaneously, it could raise concerns about unauthorized tracking. To prevent this, Apple has implemented strict limitations on AirTag connections.
How the Find My Network Works
The Role of the Find My Network
To better understand why simultaneous tracking isn’t possible, let’s delve into the workings of the Find My network. This network is a vast system that relies on millions of Apple devices around the world to help locate lost items.
Bluetooth Beacons and Location Data
When you mark an item as lost in the Find My app, the AirTag sends out Bluetooth signals. These signals are picked up by nearby Apple devices, which then relay the location data to the iCloud. This information is then made available to you through the Find My app.
The Technical Hurdles to Simultaneous Tracking
Bluetooth technology has limitations when it comes to simultaneous connections. Devices, including AirTags, are designed to establish one primary connection at a time. This primary connection is reserved for the owner’s device, ensuring privacy and security.
The AirTag’s Secure Element
Each AirTag contains a secure element that stores cryptographic keys. These keys are used to establish a secure connection with the owner’s device. Attempting to connect with multiple devices simultaneously could compromise the security of the AirTag’s connection.
Workarounds and Alternatives
Using the Find My App
While simultaneous tracking isn’t possible, there are still ways for multiple people to collaborate when searching for a lost item with an AirTag. One approach is for all parties to use the Find My app on their respective devices and share information about the AirTag’s location.
As mentioned earlier, Apple’s Family Sharing feature allows family members to receive notifications about the AirTag’s location. This can be helpful when multiple family members want to stay informed about the whereabouts of a shared item.
Also Read: How Precise Are Airtags
The Limits of AirTag Tracking
While the idea of two phones simultaneously tracking one AirTag may be appealing, it’s not technically feasible due to the limitations of Bluetooth technology and the AirTag’s design. Apple’s emphasis on privacy and security also plays a significant role in restricting simultaneous tracking.
However, Apple has provided alternative methods for sharing tracking information with family members and collaborators through the Find My app and Family Sharing feature. These options can be useful when you need assistance in locating a lost item with an AirTag.
So, if you’re thinking about sharing the tracking responsibility with someone else, rest assured that you can do so within the confines of Apple’s privacy and security measures. While you can’t have two phones simultaneously tracking one AirTag, you can still collaborate effectively to find your lost items.