When lost, the AirTag can be found using an Android smartphone… but that’s it.

apple airtag 1 - Does Apple AirTag work with your Android smartphone?
Credit: Apple

It has been a while since Apple introduced a new product category. It is now done since Tuesday evening and the presentation of the AirTag, a small pebble intended to attach to your personal effects in order to allow you to locate them with your Apple devices. However, during his conference, Apple did not bother to explain if the AirTag will be compatible with Android. 9To5Mac got the information, and it turns out that Android smartphones will be well supported… but only in one sense.

The AirTag is based on the “Locate” network, a network that takes advantage of the millions of Apple devices in circulation around the world. As soon as an iPhone passes an AirTag, it connects to it via Bluetooth and sends geolocation information to its owner. Also, when an AirTag begins to move away from its owner for a while, it will emit a small beep. This “Beep” serves to alert people in the vicinity that the object has been lost. In this case, whether you have an iPhone or an Android smartphone, all you have to do is bring your phone closer to the lost AirTag to have access to the contact details of its owner and return his property.

airtag notification - Does Apple AirTag work with your Android smartphone?
This is the notification that your smartphone will display if you approach a lost AirTag
Credit: Apple

In other words, an Android smartphone will only be able to interact with the AirTag if it has been lost, and provided that your device has NFC. There is therefore no question of buying an AirTag if you do not have an Apple device, since they are the only ones to offer the “Locate” app.

What alternatives on Android?

This type of product did not wait for the AirTag to exist. Tile, in particular, has been offering similar Bluetooth trackers for years. Like the AirTag, the Tile Mate relies on Bluetooth LE to connect to its smartphone and to be detected by other users of Tile products when lost.

Samsung also offers a home alternative, the SmartTag. This is a small box that also attaches to your personal effects and can be located on the manufacturer’s SmartThings application. It works exactly on the same principle as Apple’s AirTag, except that it uses Samsung-stamped smartphones to be found when it is no longer within reach of its owner.

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