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What are Apple AirTags and when will they be released?

What are Apple AirTags and when will they be released?
People queue to try out the new iPhone 11 Pro smartphone at an Apple store in Hong Kong on September 20, 2019. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP)NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images
People queue to try out the iPhone 11 Pro smartphone at an Apple store in Hong Kong (AFP)

Apple released a slew of new products in 2020, including brand new over-ear headphones and a MacBook running on its own silicon.

But there was no sign of the so-called AirTags – small mobile tracking devices that gadget fans have been predicting for months now.

Speculation on their existence was ignited by code discovered within iOS 14 that seemingly allowed the little tags to connect with an iPhone. But the iPhone 12 event came and went without any mention being made.

Now, several months later, the rumours are hotting up again. The latest suggestion is that they could launch in March next to a new version of the iPad Pro.

The rumour comes from seasoned Apple leaker Jon Prosser who tweeted that the AirTags will see the light of day next month.

Prosser wasn’t able to give any specifics – such as what they’ll look like or how much they’ll cost. But he was confident there would be no further delays this time.

Apple hasn’t held an event in March since 2019, when it revealed the Apple TV+ streaming service, Apple Arcade and Apple Card payment system.

What are the Apple AirTags?

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 10, 2019 Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks on-stage during a product launch event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California. - Apple chief Tim Cook on Octorber 10, 2019, defended the decision to pull an app used by protesters in Hong Kong to track police, according to a leaked email to employees obtained by a tech news site. Apple removed the HKmap.live mobile application from the App Store after criticism by Beijing, which is stepping up pressure on foreign companies deemed to be providing support to the pro-democracy movement. (Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking at a company event (Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

If they are confirmed, it’s believed the Apple AirTags will be small Bluetooth-enabled plastic trackers that can be attached to your keyring of slipped inside a wallet.

Once connected and paired with your iPhone, the AirTags would give users a way to find their wallet or keys if they were misplaced somewhere.

The flip side of that is they could also be used to locate a missing iPhone by remotely instructing it to play a chime – similar to what the Apple Watch is able to do.

Other companies, like Tile and Samsung, already make Bluetooth-enabled trackers but Apple’s will obviously have a far tighter integration with other products in the company’s line-up such as iPads and AirPods.