There are those inventions that make you think: why didn’t someone else come up with this? The AirTag is one of them, and while Apple certainly didn’t come up with this invention itself, the company has perfected it. But above all, don’t use them for your pet, agrees OMT editor Dennis Mons.
Lost your suitcase? No problem with an AirTag. In fact, if you even lose your keys regularly (like all of us?) it’s nice to have a beep to tell you they’re just in the fridge (don’t ask).
Apple’s AirTag isn’t blissful for finding everything
So such a handy little device has many advantages. And that’s despite the fact that AirTag or even the Find My app doesn’t exactly put the police into action to retrieve anything that belongs to you, when you can literally give (almost) the address of where your property is. But that aside.
So often you can still reasonably recover your belongings. But pets too?
It’s tempting to put an AirTag on your dog. Is that advisable? According to Apple itself, the answer is no. After all, it is no guarantee that Sir Barksalot will be found easily AND it is simply dangerous.
Is Dug eating his AirTag? What do you think? (Image: Pixar)
Indeed, one of the problems is that the dog (or cat, or guinea pig) can only be found accurately on your home network and is within Bluetooth range anyway. So if someone outside that network wants to notify your quadruped (or biped if you have a goose) of his or her beautiful, furry, or faraway find, an updated iPhone or iPad is required. So then you just have to get lucky.
Of course, with an Android phone, you can also post a notification that the AirTag has been found. But that person also just has to know what an AirTag is and how it works.
Good sales of Apple necklaces
That doesn’t stop manufacturers from making collars with an AirTag en masse. And of course we are then tempted to tie them around our furry friend. It can’t theoretically hurt, but we get that Apple isn’t shipping the AirTag as a promise to find your best buddy. After all, there are some risks involved.
So the New York Times has collected a few anecdotes from people who did.
One owner was curious anyway about where his AirTag, attached to the dog, had gone. Upon pinging the location, his second dog’s belly started beeping. This is hilarious at first, but then immediately worrisome.
Fun fact: the dog in question spit out the tracker and the owner bought a new collar for the tracker. That is. Quite stupid.
The same was true for another owner whose dog started chewing on the weird pendant. The critter bit the AirTag apart and got parts of the device inside. Fortunately, the battery had not burst, but it is for this reason that Apple advises against an AirTag for finding pets and chewing on their products (presumably).
The solution is simpler
So as nice as the idea of being able to track your pet is, hanging a device around its neck with a battery is almost always a bad idea, exceptions aside. The simplest solution is still to have your pet chipped.
Of course that doesn’t take away the headache of not knowing immediately where Sir Barkaslot is, but if he is found then you, the owner, are quickly traced yourself.
For the ideal combination, a tracker and a small subcutaneous chip, we still have to wait.