Tried: Set up Apple AirTag with the iPhone

Pairing a new AirTag with the iPhone is extremely easy. Here you can find out how you connect AirTags to the Apple smartphone and what you need to know about it. I will also show you how you can check whether the newly connected Bluetooth tracker has the latest firmware installed. There are also other settings that you should consider. If you have any tips and tricks for setting up and using Apple AirTags, please leave a comment.

Setting up an Apple AirTag with the iPhone - Here you will find instructions with screenshots and additional information.
Setting up an Apple AirTag with the iPhone - Here you will find instructions with screenshots and additional information.

Setting up Apple AirTag on the iPhone: Here's how!

To connect an AirTag to your iPhone, you first have to take it out of the box. Once this is done, pull the plastic foil off the tracker. Also pull out the tab that blocks the battery contact inside. If you have successfully removed this tab, the AirTag will play a tone. That means it's ready to use. Now proceed as follows:

  1. Place the AirTag next to the iPhone about 5 cm away
  2. When an AirTag ad appears on the screen, tap Connect
  3. Under "Name AirTag" you can specify a default or your own name
  4. Agree to the association with your Apple ID and the usage instructions by "Accept".
  5. Waiting for the connection to be established; you can use the AirTag when it is completed
To start setting up the AirTag on the Apple iPhone, all you have to do is activate the tracker and place it next to the smartphone.
To start setting up the AirTag on the Apple iPhone, all you have to do is activate the tracker and place it next to the smartphone.

Apple notes on using the newly set up AirTag

After setting up and successfully pairing the Bluetooth tracker with the smartphone, you will receive instructions for the exact search, for playing a tone and for a message if you leave the AirTag behind. From this information window you can complete the setup via "Done" or go straight to it Where is? switch to try out the individual functions.

AirTag with Where is? monitor or make settings

To access the AirTag, search for it, or report it as lost, simply use the Find My app pre-installed on your iPhone. From there, select the “Objects” tab at the bottom. In its window you then tap on the connected AirTag. In addition to the map, you will see various options and settings on the lower half of the screen. By the way, you can pull these up so that they can be seen on the entire display. The selection is as follows:

  • Play sound: If you tap on it, the AirTag will play a sound (ideal when looking for the keys or to track down a lost item in the area)
  • Search: Displays a search screen that navigates to the AirTag - on devices with a U1 chip (iPhone 11 and later), "Exact Search" is used to show the direction, the distance to the nearest 10 cm, the location, etc
  • Messages: Settings for notifications on the iPhone when the AirTag is found or for exceptions in certain locations (home, work, etc.)
  • Lost Mode: Report AirTag as lost to receive updates about a find and link information (name, email address, phone number, etc.) so finders can read it from the AirTag
  • Rename object: Give the AirTag a new name, for example if it is no longer used on a key ring but on a bicycle or backpack
  • Remove object: Unpair the AirTag from the iPhone and remove it from the Apple ID

Which Firmware: Is my AirTag up to date?

In order to be able to use all current functions and to consume less energy, the firmware of the AirTag should be up to date. You can also see whether this is the case via "Where is?". From the "Objects" tab, select the appropriate AirTag and tap the location indicator under its name (e.g. "At your place. Now."). 

This then switches to displaying the serial number and firmware version. You should write down the serial number if necessary, but do not share it with anyone. The firmware should be updated to at least version 2.0.36 (as of late 2022 / early 2023). If this is not the case, then leave the AirTag next to the iPhone for a while so that the update can be installed.

Information on stalking with AirTags

It's no secret that Apple AirTags are a convenient way for stalkers to track others. Real-time tracking is not really possible, since location updates are sometimes displayed with a delay of several minutes. However, with sufficient patience and many "Where is?" queries, individual whereabouts can be determined and movement profiles can be created. Of course, this is not only morally the bottom drawer, but also punishable. Apple points this out with these lines when setting up the AirTag:

Using AirTag to track someone without their consent is a criminal offense in many areas of the world.

AirTag is designed to be discoverable by victims and allow law enforcement to collect identifying information from owners.

You can find more information on the subject here:

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.