AirTags are finally more discoverable – and that’s a good thing.
Apple is rolling out firmware update 1.0.301 to AirTags that 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 occurred as it downloads automatically.
You can check if you have the right firmware by going to the Items tab in the Find My app. Tapping on AirTag will let you know if you have the new firmware. If you don’t have the AirTag change, you’ll probably get it later as Apple says the firmware update will be sent out again periodically.
Just make sure the AirTags are within 33 feet of your iPhone, which is the maximum Bluetooth signal range for the device.
A stalking problem
This firmware update is part of a series of changes coming to AirTag after it was discovered they were being used to stalk people. The purpose of the louder sound is to make finding unknown AirTags easier to locate.
The AirTags themselves are a neat device. They’re 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 found being sold with their safety features disabled.
The good news is that Apple quickly discovered this glaring problem and took action. The company stated at the time that it was working with law enforcement on AirTag misuse and laid out a plan for future changes.
It took a while, but those changes are finally here.
Updates down the line
Increasing the AirTag’s volume is the first of four updates. Apple plans on bettering its unwanted tracking alert system to notify people earlier if some unknown AirTag is on their person.
If you were a part of the iOS 15.4 beta, you might have seen an inkling of this as a message would appear during AirTag setup stating misusing these devices to stalk is illegal.
There are also changes coming to Precision Finding and displays alert, but the details of these updates are still unknown. Apple has said very little other than they will be coming out later in 2022.