Apple is taking on Tile with its new, which can , such as their keys or a backpack. The $29 tracker that leverages is available to . Fellow iPhone owners create a crowd-sourced network to help track down an AirTag that’s marked as lost, but what about Android phones?
When, I assumed that Android phones couldn’t interact with the Tile-like tracker at all.
Well, it turns out, I was wrong. Apple’s walled garden doesn’t stop Android owners from helping return a lost AirTag. That means if you have an Android phone and you find someone’s keys or hear a beeping AirTag inside a backpack, you can play a part in returning it to its owner. Here’s how.
Use your Android phone’s NFC reader
Each AirTag uses random Bluetooth identifiers to anonymously communicate with Apple devices in the background to precisely locate the small tracker — all without anyone involved knowing it’s even happening.
The same can’t be said about Android phones, however. Unless Apple decides to release a Find My app in the Play Store, you’re going to have to do some extra work if you find a lost tag.
Every AirTag has an NFC chip inside it, and that chip is readable by Android phones and iPhones. So, as long as your Android phone is equipped with NFC (if you can use contactless payments, you have NFC), all you need to do is read the AirTag by placing it near the back of your phone.
An alert will pop up on your screen that includes a web link. Open the link to view information about the AirTag and its owner. If it’s marked as lost, you’ll even see instructions on how to contact the rightful owner and get the item it’s connected to back to them.
Moral of the story? If you use an Android phone and find a lost AirTag, don’t write it off as something you can’t help with. Take a few seconds to scan it.
You can, with deliveries starting April 30. If you’re on the fence about buying AirTags, make sure to read .