We have heard hints over the last year that Apple has been working on a tracker-like device similar to Tile key fobs. The first was last April when the company merged Find My iPhone and Find My Friends into one app. In June, evidence of it appeared in the source code of an iOS 13 beta build. Then in January of this year, renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo mentioned that a tracking device was in the works. However, Apple never confirmed any of these rumors.
On Friday morning, Appleosophy spotted a video posted by Apple on its support pages confirming the existence of a device the company is calling “AirTags.” The clip was evidently posted on accident as it has since been removed.
The recording showed the Find My iPhone settings screen (above). Not only does it clearly list the AirTags name, but it also confirms that it will be capable of offline tracking.
“Offline finding enables this device and AirTags to be found when not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular,” says the description under the “Enable Offline Finding” setting.
This discovery seems to validate that the tracker will be equipped with the U1 chip found in iPhone 11, which uses Ultra-Wideband technology to ping surrounding devices for more accurate location data. AirTags will likely use the same technique to tell Find My where it is.
All of the leaks for the last nine months have suggested that AirTags were imminent. Back in September 2019, the usually reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believed they would be released very soon. More recently, he suspected that they would be released in a March 2020 event that didn’t happen.