AirTags are finally more detectable – and that’s a good thing.
Apple is rolling out firmware update 1.0.301 to AirTags this will make them louder and easier to locate.
You will need iOS version 14.5 or later to download and use this feature. If you have version 14.5 or are up to date, the firmware update should have already taken place as it downloads automatically.
You can check if you have the correct firmware by going to the Items tab of the Find My app. Tapping on AirTag will tell you if you have the new firmware. If you don’t have the AirTag change, you’ll probably get it later because Apple says the firmware update will be re-sent periodically.
Just make sure the AirTags are within 33 feet of your iPhone, which is the maximum Bluetooth signal range for the device.
A tracking problem
This firmware update is part of a series of changes to AirTag after it was discovered they were being used to track people. The purpose of the louder sound is to make it easier to find unknown AirTags.
The AirTags themselves are a neat device. It’s a great way to locate missing items, but some bad actors just had to ruin it for everyone. In February 2022, some modified AirTags were sold with their security features disabled.
The good news is that Apple quickly discovered this glaring issue and took action. The company said at the time that it was working with law enforcement on AirTag misuse and outlined a plan for future changes.
It took a while, but those changes are finally here.
Updates down the line
The AirTag volume increase is the first of four updates. Apple plans to improve its unwanted tracking alert system to notify people sooner if an unknown AirTag is on them.
If you were part of the iOS 15.4 beta, you might have caught a glimpse of this, as a message would appear when setting up AirTag stating that misusing these devices for stalking is illegal.
Changes are also being made to Precision Finding and showing an alert, but the details of these updates are still unknown. Apple has said very little other than that they will be released later in 2022.