Does Apple AirTag have GPS? [Explained]

The AirTags Themselves Have No Positional Location Capability

The small, circular metal discs, roughly the size of the British decimal ten pence coin are often associated with a GPS (Global Positioning Device) tracking device. Apple fanatics naturally consume this item tracker as a GPS tracker which is why they clip the button-sized AirTag onto their keys, stash one of these item trackers in their luggage, and slip one of these battery-powered Bluetooth location trackers into their bag or car. However, Apple users still keep asking “Are Apple AirTags GPS or Bluetooth”.

Does Apple AirTag have GPS? What You Need To Know?

Apple AirTags are incredible item trackers. But, before we answer “Do AirTags use GPS”, we need to understand a little bit about GPS and Bluetooth and how Apple tracks devices in the Find My network to determine their location. Therefore, let’s first understand how Apple AirTag work.

So, how exactly does Apple AirTags work? [Brief Explanation]

Summary: According to Apple, your AirTag sends out a secure Bluetooth signal that nearby devices in the Find My network can detect.

A Brief Explanation: Each AirTag transmits a unique identifier using Bluetooth. When your Bluetooth Apple tracker identifies any compatible Apple device within range (100 meters approx), it will relay that identifier to Apple’s servers, along with its location data.

The tag’s owner can then use their iPhone to open the Find My app and access those location details. That’s how you can locate your lost bag.

Does An AirTag Have GPS Tracking?

Photo by Onur Binay on Unsplash

If you’re wondering “Does Apple AirTag have GPS”, the answer is a No. An AirTag does not use GPS and therefore does not contain a GPS tracking system. But, if you question “Are Apple AirTags GPS or Bluetooth, ” these Bluetooth key finders use a network of 1.8 billion iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and Macs.

This means that the Airtags primarily utilize Bluetooth to communicate. An AirTag uses other nearby Bluetooth Apple devices to determine its location. They use Ultra Wideband technology at close ranges which are found in the Apple U1 location chip. This then locates a nearby iPhone within a few inches.

The best part about Ultra Wideband technology is that it doesn’t interfere with other radio signals such as Wi-Fi. So, instead of calculating a location using a network of satellites, AirTag uses the location data of nearby Apple devices by emitting a continuous Bluetooth signal, which is then viewable by the tag’s owner.

Joe Warne
Joe Warne
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