Apple seemingly confirmed the existence of AirTags, an item tracking system that has been hinted at since September and rumored since last June. A tutorial video explaining how to reset an iPhone features the setting ‘Enable Offline finding’, which gives a short tooltip with AirTag’s functionality.
The video was discovered by Appleosophy, who took several screenshots, but has since been removed from public view, but you can view a copy below. Apple’s quick removal adds to the evidence that this wasn’t something it wanted users to see, with a release possible quite soon alongside the rumored iPhone 9.
“Offline finding enables this device and AirTags to be found when not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular,” it says (1:40).
Previous hints at AirTags were found in the Find My app. They appear to be an RFID tag that tells users if they travel too far from their belongings or someone moves them out of a preset location. Previously discovered code suggested users will be able to have AirTags chime until they can find their item.
The tags will, it seems, have a removable battery. Code included low battery warnings, and MacRumors spotted last year that there’s a system to send out a final location ping before the battery dies. Intriguingly, the publication also found references to augmented reality, with one internal build for iOS 13 containing a 3d red balloon asset that would let users point their phone at an environment to have their item’s location highlighted.
So far, Apple AirTags doesn’t appear to be leaps and bounds ahead of its main competitor, Tile, but its OS-level integration is bound to make the process easier for consumers.