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Today, we’ll hear from Kaitlyn Wells, a writer at Wirecutter, a product recommendation website owned by The New York Times.
The panic that occurs when a pet goes missing is something that no dog or cat owner wants to experience. If your best friend gets lost, GPS (Global Positioning System) pet trackers that track your pet in real time can help reunite you, but these devices can can be expensive (average around $200) and some also require expensive annual subscriptions. So when Apple announced its AirTag trackers in April, you might have wondered what I did: Will the $29 coin-sized device act as a tracker pet?
How is AirTag different from Bluetooth or GPS pet trackers?
GPS pet trackers use satellite signals and mobile data information to communicate your pet’s location to your phone, while Bluetooth-only trackers communicate its location only if it is located within the phone’s Bluetooth range – usually within 30 to 100 feet – or if someone else is running on the same tracking ecosystem that happened to roam in the past.
AirTag uses both Bluetooth and a more precise positioning technology called ultra-wideband (UWB) to pinpoint a tracker’s location. Like an extra version of Bluetooth, UWB will point you in the direction of your AirTag with compass-like accuracy if you’re using your iPhone near the missing AirTag. If you’re further afield, Apple’s Find My network and Bluetooth from other iPhone users can help you find it.
This difference – the near ubiquity of Apple devices that help track your AirTag – is what makes Apple trackers so much more useful than Bluetooth trackers like Tile Mate, which works within a much smaller group of users.
However, both AirTags and Bluetooth trackers depend on other devices, while GPS trackers harness the power of satellites.
Does Apple approve the use of AirTag to track pets?
Technically, no. While it’s small enough to attach to a dog’s collar with Apple’s own key ring or ring (my colleague Brian X. Chen did the hack), Apple has insisted that the AirTag is used to locate items, not people or pets. However, the company still has a patent on its UWB technology, and cites removable tags that are attached to a pet’s collar or a children’s t-shirt so that it can be used in the scenarios on file. .
Don’t be surprised if Apple launches a pet-friendly tracker in the future, but for now, AirTag as a pet tracker is seen as an off-brand use.
Is there a reason you don’t want to use AirTags for pets?
AirTag is more limited than dedicated GPS pet trackers. Currently, the Find My app won’t notify you immediately if you’re separated from an AirTag, although the feature is being added in iOS 15. GPS pet trackers do this if your pet’s pet is not. you leave a designated area.
AirTags also can’t attach themselves to a pet’s neck, so you’ll need to purchase an Apple AirTag Tag Bracelet (which costs about the same as an AirTag) or a cheaper third-party holder.
Other GPS pet trackers Wirecutter likes
We’ve tested more than a dozen pet trackers over the years, and one always leads: the Whistle Go Explore. It’s four times more expensive than the AirTag, but it will instantly tell you if your pet has escaped, more accurate than any other GPS tracker we’ve tested, and works with phones as well. Apple and Android.
But like most pet trackers we’ve tested, its GPS accuracy can be tricky when cell service fails and you have to pay a $100 annual subscription to continue. use it. The rechargeable battery also only lasts about three days in “lost pet mode” compared to the AirTag’s estimated monthly battery life in that mode.
If you’re a price-conscious Apple user, the AirTag is more accurate than a traditional Bluetooth tracker, but it won’t be as responsive as a GPS pet tracker.
AirTag is much better than nothing, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, I recommend Whistle Go Explore as it’s still the most reliable, accurate and fastest way to alert you. if your pet is missing.
Whichever device you choose, make sure your pets are equipped with the correct microchip and their ID tag. The more ways you can be reunited with your lost pet, the better.
Before we go…
Knowledge gaps about the Facebook pandemic: The White House has asked Facebook to provide data on the prevalence of Covid-19 vaccine misinformation on the social network. But Sheera Frenkel reports that Facebook really doesn’t know many of the specifics of how misinformation about the coronavirus has spread.
How China became a more serious hacking threat: Nicole Perlroth writes that China became more sophisticated in its digital espionage after the Chinese regime reorganized its hacking networks and accumulated knowledge about software vulnerabilities that could be exploited. used to infiltrate computer systems.
In regards to my colleague Max Fisher: “Government-linked hacking has become a pervasive and perhaps enduring feature of the global order.”
China’s mysterious seeds may be stranger than we think: Last year, there was a slight oddity when many people received packets of seeds that were randomly delivered from China and other countries. Atlantic continued to dig and discovered that the story could have been caused by a collective panic about the seeds that many people forgot they had ordered.
that is a family of falcons hanging out on a church in Manhattan. The falcon in the middle looks like it’s waving at us.
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