KEY POINTS

  • Apple is expected to release its Tile-like trackers, called AirTags, this year
  • The AirTags are designed to help iPhone users locate their missing items more easily
  • A report claims that the AirTags are fully waterproof and can be charged wirelessly

Apple is expected to launch its Tile-like trackers, called “AirTags,” later this year. What will the new device feature and what can it be used for?

Apple's upcoming Tile-like trackers, believed to be called “AirTags,” are expected to arrive real soon. The new device will make use of the company's Ultra Wideband technology to help locate missing items, provided that the tracker is attached to them.

9To5Mac reported that it's simply logical for Apple to create its own lost item tracker. Tile's trackers have grown in popularity over the years, simply because they're very helpful and integrate well with iPhones. Cupertino likely saw Tile's popularity among iPhone users and decided to create its own tracking device which is designed to work with iOS.

The new device is designed to function like Tile's trackers. 9To5Mac noted that like Tile trackers, it can be attached to a set of keys (and other important, but easy to misplace items) so that users can easily keep track of them. Users will be able to locate the tracker on a map, and will also be able to command the device to play a sound so that it can be found.

The device, which is seen to be a very useful tool for those times when the keys and other things get lost, will also be “completely waterproof,” Japanese blog Macotakara reported. This means the AirTags will be also be able to help users locate the items they drop somewhere even when it's raining outside, or even if the item has been dropped in bodies of water including pools and ponds.

Macotakara also reported that according to its sources, the AirTags will also “use a charging method similar to Apple Watch's magnetic charging.” This implies that users will only need to place their AirTagged keys or belongings atop a wireless charging pad in order to charge the tracker.

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple to launch the AirTags in the third quarter this year. He said the upcoming device will further enhance the iPhone's ability to locate lost items, and will alsoi enhance the company's augmented reality offerings through the use of a “close-range measurement function.”

Apple's HomePod, a smart home device developed by the iPhone maker, is seen in a 2018 picture Future iPhones can be expected to have better AR capabilities. Photo: GETTY IMAGES / JUSTIN SULLIVAN